Abu Dhabi residents will be able to see a combination of three unusual lunar events this Wednesday
29 January 2018| Last updated on 29 January 2018
Abu Dhabi residents are in for a rare astronomical treat on Wednesday, January 31st. For the first time in 36 years, a combination of three unusual lunar events are occurring on the same night. This unique and rare occurrence is called a super blood blue moon.
During this rare lunar occurrence, three unusual lunar events are taking place in one night: an extra big super moon, a blue moon and a total lunar eclipse. Each of these events on their own are not that rare to see but this is the first time in 36 years that the Middle East will see something like this. America last witnessed a super blood blue moon almost 150 years ago.
What is a blue moon?
The term ‘blue moon’ refers to the second moon when there are two full moons in one calendar month. There has already been a full moon on January 1st and have a second full moon awaiting us on January 31st.
A blue moon usually occurs every two years and eight months. During a blue moon dust particles in the air might make the moon appear blue.
What is a supermoon?
The moon appears much bigger than it really is during a supermoon. The reason for this is that it reaches the closest distance to Earth in its elliptic orbit. The full moon on Wednesday will be the third in a series of supermoons that we have recently witnessed in Abu Dhabi.
What is a lunar eclipse?
During a lunar eclipse the Earth’s darker, central shadow (also known as the Earth’s umbrella) covers the moon after the sun, earth and moon aligned to form what looks like a line.
During the eclipse, parts of the sunlight’s spectrum is blocked by the Earth’s atmosphere. The longer wavelengths that remain then give the moon a reddish, orange or blood red hue. The orange or red hue that the moon receives is known as a blood moon.
When is the best time to view the Super Blood Blue Moon in Abu Dhabi?
This celestial event will be visible to the Middle East, Asia, eastern Russia, Australia, New Zealand and parts of America. The supermoon will be visible all night long with the lunar eclipse only lasting between two to three minutes. The moons progress of leaving the eclipse will still be visible in Abu Dhabi for another hour.
The Super Blood Blue Moon will be visible just after 6:00 PM on Wednesday, January 31st but the optimal time to view the blood moon from Abu Dhabi is at 6:06 PM
Where can you see the Super Blood Blue Moon in Abu Dhabi?
The moon will be visible to the naked eye, with no need for special protective wear as with a solar eclipse. We recommend going to a high lookout point or somewhere with an unobstructed view for the best experience of Wednesday's special phenomena.
Local astronomical clubs should also have their own meetups available.