First 'Super Blue Blood Moon' In 150 Years Set To Occur This Month

If you're one of the thousands of people lucky enough to have been gifted with a shiny new telescope for Christmas then you're in for a real treat at the end of the month, as our night skies are graced with a trio of stunning lunar phenomena.

The synced-up spectacle, which some have dubbed the 'Super Blue Blood Moon', will be the first such occurrence in over 150 years, and is caused by the alignment of three simultaneous lunar events on and around 31 January.

The Super Blood Moon of 2015. Credit: PA
The Super Blood Moon of 2015. Credit: PA

First off, the end of January will welcome a blue moon - the name given to the second full moon in any one given month. Secondly, the end of the month will see a super moon, which is where the moon reaches its closest point to Earth while in orbit, making it appear much larger in the sky.

At the same time, a total lunar eclipse is set to take place, which can sometimes turn the moon a stunningly bright shade of orange. This is often referred to as a 'blood moon'.

These three elements working together will delight stargazers worldwide with a once-in-a-lifetime viewing opportunity.

According to, the phenomenon can be seen from anywhere it is night-time, though viewers in some regions will only be able to glimpse a partial eclipse.

For example, viewers in New York will only be able to catch the first part of the spectacle, as it will start just 16 minutes before the moon sets in the sky, at around 6.50 am.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

The combined events coming together is extremely rare and has not happened for around 150 years.

"The moon's orbit around our planet is tilted so it usually falls above or below the shadow of the Earth," explained NASA.

"About twice each year, a full moon lines up perfectly with the Earth and sun such that Earth's shadow totally blocks the sun's light, which would normally reflect off the moon.

"The moon will lose its brightness and take on an eerie, fainter-than-normal glow from the scant sunlight that makes its way through Earth's atmosphere.

"Often cast in a reddish hue because of the way the atmosphere bends the light, totally eclipsed Moons are sometimes called 'blood moons.'

"Sometimes the celestial rhythms sync up just right to wow us. Heed your calendar reminders. On the three dates marked, step out into the moonset or moonrise and look up for a trilogy of sky watching treats!"

Featured Image Credit: PA

Paddy Maddison

Paddy Maddison is a freelance journalist and frequent contributor to LADbible. He specialises in men's lifestyle, music and news, which has seen him work with publications including ShortList, FashionBeans, Menswear Style and many industry-leading brands. Contact him on [email protected]

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