Skywatchers will want to mark January 31 on their calendars—the day will feature what EarthSky.org is calling a "super Blue Moon eclipse." In other words, a supermoon, a blue moon, and a lunar eclipse will be happening simultaneously. NASA, meanwhile, uses the term "Super Blue Blood Moon" in its headline because of the reddish tint the moon will have that morning. Whatever the term, those on the West Coast of the US will get the best show, notes USA Today. For them, the eclipse will be total, while East Coasters will see a partial one.
“Weather permitting, the West Coast, Alaska, and Hawaii will have a spectacular view of totality from start to finish,” says NASA's Gordon Johnston in a statement. “Unfortunately, eclipse viewing will be more challenging in the Eastern time zone. The eclipse begins at 5:51 AM ET, as the Moon is about to set in the western sky, and the sky is getting lighter in the east.” Some definitions: A blue moon designates the second full moon in a calendar month and is not, in fact, blue. Supermoon refers to a full moon being at the closest point of its orbit to the Earth. On Jan. 31, when this super blue moon passes through the Earth's shadow in the eclipse, it will actually appear reddish in color; hence, the term "blood moon." It's the first time since 1866 that a blue moon total lunar eclipse has occurred. (Read more moon stories.)