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Astronomical event: 'super blue blood' full moon

  • 31 Jan 2018
  • 1:26 PM


A rare celestial event will grace the skies during the last week of January when a blue moon and lunar eclipse combine with the moon being at its closest point to Earth, resulting in what is being called a “super blue blood moon”.

The trifecta will take place on 31 January and will be best visible from the western hemisphere. The last time the three elements combined at the same time was in 1866.

A “super blue blood moon” is the result of a blue moon – the second full moon in a calendar month – occurring at the same time as a super moon, when the moon is at perigee and about 14% brighter than usual, and a so-called blood moon – the moment during a lunar eclipse when the moon, in the Earth’s shadow, takes on a reddish tint.

Interestingly February will be what is know as a 'black moon' . This is a calendar month without a new moon - which happens only once every 20 years or so (the last was in 1999).

It can only ever happen in February - the shortest month - and when it happens it means that both January and March will have two new moons instead of one. 


The North Pennines Observatory is owned and operated by the North Pennines AONB Partnership

The Observatory is currently only available for private bookings

North Pennines AONB Partnership, Allendale Village Hall, Allendale, Northumberland NE47 9PR 

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