Prepare yourself for Super Blood Blue Moon on 31st January 2018

Get ready for a rare lunar event that has kept the Internet abuzz from the beginning of the year. A Super Moon, Blue Moon, and a total lunar eclipse, named Super Blood Blue Moon can be seen on the evening of January 31.

Dr. Debiprosad Duari, Director, M. P. Birla Planetarium, Kolkata, explains more about the rare event.

Lunar eclipse

A lunar eclipse is a spectacular celestial show, during which the bright, pearly-white disc of the full Moon turns dark, and sometimes takes on the color of dark copper or even dried blood. A lunar eclipse occurs when the Sun, the Earth and the Moon are so aligned that for a period of time, the full Moon passes through the shadow of Earth in space (called Earth’s Umbra).

Why is it termed, Super Blood Blue Moon?

During a total lunar eclipse, though the Moon gets shadowed by the Earth, sunlight passing through the Earth’s atmosphere, break down in its constituent colors and the red part gets scattered by the atmosphere and falls on the Moon’s surface, thereby making it take on a reddish copper hue. For this reason since antiquity, a totally eclipsed Moon is called a “Blood Moon”. It has no other special relevance other than the fact that the color of the Moon looks blackish-red.

This full Moon occurs twice in a calendar month, the last one being on January 2. The next one, on January 31, is termed a “Blue Moon”. The Moon does not turn blue but historically the second full Moon of an English calendar month is termed as a Blue Moon. Hence the oft-quoted phrase of a rare occurrence of an event as “once in a Blue Moon”.

The coming lunar eclipse will be more spectacular because, during the eclipse, the Moon will be near its perigee (the Moon reaches its perigee on January 30 at around 15:28 hrs. IST) and hence it will look larger than an average full Moon, and is termed a Super Moon.

At what time can we see the eclipse in India?

In India, the eclipse will start around 17:18 IST. It will be total at 18:21 hours and remain totally eclipsed till 19:37.

Then after, the total eclipse will end and the Moon will slowly come out of the shadow of the Earth, the partial eclipse ending around 20:41 hrs. The totality of the eclipse will last for about 1 hour and 16 minutes.

So this rare event is happening after 150 years?

Many pages on the Net say that it is happening after 152 years and the last time it happened was in 1866. But this was for the Americas, not for everywhere on the globe.

In Asia, the last Blue Moon and a total lunar eclipse happened on December 30, 1982. So, it is happening after 35 years for sky enthusiasts in India.

Do I need any special binoculars or a telescope to see this phenomenon?

Not at all. It can be seen through the naked eye.

When is the next total lunar eclipse?

The next total lunar eclipse will be visible in India on July 27, 2018, but it will not be a Blue Moon or a Super Moon.

What are the effects of Lunar Eclipses’?

Lunar Eclipses occurs when SunEarth, and Moon are aligned in such a way that moon passes directly behind the earth and earth is in the middle of sun and moon blocking moon.

It is considered inauspicious because in such an alignment the distance between Earth, Moon, and Sun is minimal which affects the gravity. You might not notice the difference between the pull of the sun on you but it is about 0.0603 percent of the pull of the Earth on you. The pull of the moon is about 0.0003 percent of the Earth’s gravitational pull.

For instance, if you weigh 50 kilograms (150 pounds), at noon during a solar eclipse or during any new moon you’d weigh 0.6 grams (two-hundredths of an ounce) less than you would at noon when it’s a full moon.

According to Ancient Hindu Epics & Literature, Solar and Lunar Eclipses were defined at the time of Mahabharata much before Science came into existence.

“A solar eclipse finds mention in the Mahabharata, where Lord Krishna skillfully uses his knowledge of eclipse predictions to save the life of Arjuna, the great warrior. The accuracy with which eclipses have been predicted is incredible. In the Indian almanacs, the time at which an eclipse begins, at which it peaks, and when its ends have all been given. This entire period of an eclipse is called the parvakala”

So what impact it does have on us?

There is a gravitational pull from Moon or Sun at the time of Lunar or Solar eclipses respectively which affects body mass. Usual things we do with the habits we have will be impacted accordingly.

  • It is preferable to eat less because the digestive system is reduced.
  • Chances of accidents to occur are high due to high potential energies caused.
  • Scientifically proven that kids born in this time zone are either hyperactive in their lifetime or born with minor defects in their body organs for the same gravitational pull affect the mother and child.

The facts listed here may seem ridiculous but they are scientifically proven with the occurrences of Solar and Lunar eclipses periodically.