COLUMBUS (WCMH) – As hard as this is to believe, we are finally getting to the end of our Supermoon streak. This is the 3rd straight “Super” full moon, and shockingly we should be 3 for 3 in being able to view them. Quite a feat in our more cloudy period of the year.
A moon by many names, but what which one is correct?
Yes, this will be a Supermoon, where the moon is closer to the Earth in its orbit making it appear to be slightly larger and brighter. Read more here about Supermoons and what causes them
Blue moon…. check!
Yes, this will also be the 2nd full moon this month, with the full “wolf” moon occurring on the 1st of January. Because this 2nd full moon of the month, commonly referred to as a blue moon, occurs so close to the start of February, there will be no full moon in February. This feat of no full moon in February hasn’t happened since 1999, and will not occur again until 2037, meaning this is a once in a 19-year event.
Also, this means we will have another blue moon in March of this year as well, and in 2037 we will have blue moons in January and March again, as the moon cycle is a little more then 29 days long.
Snow moon… check!
Typically the full moon in January is called the wolf moon, and the February full moon is referred to as a snow moon. According to Space.com this full moon will be seen in some parts of the world early on February 1st (which really throws off the whole blue moon thing). But this would also qualify this as the full snow moon!
Total/Partial Lunar eclipse moon… check!
Depending on where you live, you will either see the total lunar eclipse (western United States, not Ohio). But because this total solar eclipse will occur after sunrise and after moonset in Ohio, we will only see a partial lunar eclipse, still cool, but not the whole thing. The best time to see this will be about an hour before sunrise at about 6:48am until sunrise here in Ohio on Wednesday morning.
How rare of an event is this?
Blue moon…. not really. The whole once in a blue moon thing is more or less a saying since blue moons occur about once every 2.7 years.
Supermoon…. not really that rare either. This is our third straight full moon that is considered “super”.
Total Lunar Eclipse….not that rare either, if you include the entire planet. We have recently witnessed 2 Total Lunar Eclipses in 2014, 2015, we will have 2 this year, and 1 next year.
The difference is in the location of the Earth to see the lunar eclipse. Here is a great resource from NASA with everything about lunar eclipses including tables of when to expect them each decade.
What about a Total Lunar Eclipse Blue Moon, that sounds rare?
Yes, this happens a lot less. In fact this year’s Total Lunar Eclipse is visible in the United States, and last Total Lunar Eclipse Blue Moon was on Dec. 30, 1982, but… this was not visible in the United States as a “Total” eclipse.
There was another Total Lunar Eclipse Blue Moon back in Dec. 30 of 1963, but again, this was not visible in the United States.
Before that we had a Total Lunar Eclipse Blue Moon on March 31 of 1866, and this was visible in the United States.
Prior to that there was a Total Lunar Eclipse Blue Moon on May 31st of 1844, and this was visible in the United States. This would also make this the last time a Total Lunar Eclipse Blue Supermoon was visible from the United States.
The next Total Lunar Eclipse Blue Moon visible to Earth will be on Dec. 31st, 2028, but again, not in the mainland US, but in Hawaii
When will the next Total Lunar Eclipse Blue moon be visible in Central Ohio?
Don’t hold your breath…… July 31st, 2148! By the way, this Full Moon will not be “Super” 😦
If you have more questions on the eclipse, the moon, or any other weather questions, email me, email@example.com