SALT LAKE CITY — Utah sky watchers will get to witness a rare lunar event Tuesday night and into Wednesday known as a blue blood moon, and the Salt Lake Astronomical Society has tips for those wishing to view the event.
The full moon will be the second of January, a phenomenon nicknamed a blue moon. It will also be a supermoon, the name given when it is near its closest approach to Earth.
And it will also occur at the same time the moon is experiencing a total lunar eclipse.
During a lunar eclipse, the moon moves through Earth’s shadow and darkness falls across the moon’s surface. The first part of the moon’s outer shadow will start to encroach at 3:51 a.m. Wednesday. At 4:48 a.m. the darker inner shadow will begin its march across the moon’s face, completely covering it by 5:51 a.m.Comment on this story
The deepest portion of the eclipse will take place about 6:31 a.m., according to NASA. A ruddy, coppery or dark hue is likely to paint the moon, as it is colored by light reflected from Earth’s sometimes smoky atmosphere. The moon then begins to emerge from the shadow, with totality ending at 7:07 a.m. The entire show will be over at 9:08 a.m.
Dave Bernson, president of the astronomy club, recommends that anyone interested in watching the spectacle should go to a site with a low western horizon. Celestial bodies are usually best seen from areas with little light pollution.
For those who can’t get out to see the event, the Clark Planetarium will be live streaming it on its Facebook page at facebook.com/clarkplanetarium, providing the weather cooperates.