GIZA – For the first time in 152 years, today’s Total Lunar Eclipse at 10:51 UTC will see the Blue moon, super moon, and blood moon coinciding.
Sky gazers will enjoy a blue moon (a second full moon in a calendar month), a super moon (when the moon is unusually close to Earth, making it bigger and brighter), together with a blood moon (a moment during an eclipse when the moon appears red), Fox News reported on Wednesday.
Happening for the first time since 1866, today’s celestial phenomenon will be visible from everywhere on the night side of the earth, if the sky is clear. From some places, the entire eclipse will be visible, while in other areas the moon will rise or set during the eclipse.
Oceania will be turned toward the moon at the time of the eclipse, while North America will see the eclipse before sunrise, just before the moon sets.
On the other side, central and eastern Asia will get a fine view of the moon in the evening sky. Additionally, western Asia and eastern Europe will also see the eclipse at their moon rises.
For those living in central and western Europe, most of Africa and most of South America who won’t be able to see the eclipse, you can follow the phenomenon’s livestream via Slooh Telescope, the Virtual Telescope and the University of Western Sydney.
The total duration of the eclipse will last five hours and 17 minutes. The eclipse’s partial phases will span over two hours and seven minutes, while the duration of the full eclipse is just one hour and 16 minutes.
For AboutIslam’s astronomer audience who will set their telescopes for the event, the Apparent Magnitude of the eclipse will be 1.316, while the Apparent Magnitude of the penumbra will be 2.294.
Why and How?
Islam is a faith of knowledge that counters superstitions. Abu Mas’ud (A.S.) narrated that Prophet Muhammad said: “The sun and the moon don’t eclipse because of someone’s death but they are two signs amongst the signs of Allah. Whenever you see these eclipses invoke Allah, pray, exclaim, (Allah is Most Great) and give charity.”
A lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes within Earth’s umbra (shadow). The shadow turns the Moon’s color to dark red-brown (typically – the color can vary based on atmospheric conditions).
The Moon appears to be reddish because of Rayleigh scattering (the same effect that causes sunsets to appear reddish) and the refraction of that light by Earth’s atmosphere into its umbra.
The Moon’s orbit around Earth is elliptical, hence the point of the orbit closest to Earth is called perigee, while the point farthest from Earth is known as apogee. As a result, the distance between the Moon and Earth varies throughout the month and the year. On average, the distance is about 382,900 km from the Moon’s center to the center of Earth.
The Moon’s phase and the date of its approach to its perigee or apogee aren’t synced. Today’s eclipse is almost a Supermoon because the perigee has already occurred on January 30, while the eclipse will take place today.
The Moon passes through the two extreme apsides ‘perigee and apogee’ about once a month. On the other hand, a Supermoon, happens every 27.55455 days when the Moon travels from perigee to perigee, aka the Anomalistic Month.
This isn’t to be confused with the Synodic Month which is the time the Moon takes to orbit once around Earth.
According to Time And Date, an eclipse never comes alone. Thus, a solar eclipse always occurs about two weeks before or after a lunar eclipse. Usually, there are two eclipses in a row, but other times, there are three during the same eclipse season.
The second eclipse of this season will be the Partial Solar Eclipse of February 15, 2018.