And here's where you can witness the event in Dubai...
29 January 2018| Last updated on 29 January 2018
Dubai residents will be able to see a rare astronomical event this Wednesday, January 31st. A combination of three unusual lunar events are occurring on the same night for the first time in 36 years. This unique and rare occurrence is called a super-blood-blue moon.
That is quite a mouthful, so let’s break it down to what is actually going to happen: three unusual lunar events are taking place in one night, To be exact, there'll be 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. The last time America witnessed something like this was almost 150 years ago.
We delve into exactly what each event is, as well as where you can see the super-blood-blue moon in Dubai.
What is a lunar eclipse?
When the sun, Earth and moon align causing the Earth’s darker, central shadow (also known as the Earth’s umbrella) covering the moon, it is called a lunar eclipse.
During the eclipse, parts of the sunlight’s spectrums are 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
What is a supermoon?
A supermoon is when the moon is the closest distance to Earth in its elliptic orbit. This makes the moon appear much bigger. The full moon on Wednesday will be the third in a series of supermoons.
What is a blue moon?
This is the phenomenon when there are two full moons in one calendar month. More specifically, the blue moon refers to the second full moon in a calendar. This year January started the New Year with a full moon and then ended it with one as well: The first full moon this month was on January 1st and the second one will be on January 31st.
A blue moon usually occurs every two years and eight months. During this phenomenon, the moon does not usually turn blue, although dust particles in the air might make it appear blue.
When is the best time to view the Super Blood Blue Moon in Dubai?
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. It will further take the moon approximately one hour to come out of the eclipse.
The Super Blood Blue Moon will be visible just after 6:00 PM on Wednesday, January 31st.
The optimal time to view the moon is at 6:04 PM.
Where can you see the Super Blood Blue Moon in Dubai?
Unlike a solar eclipse, you don't need any special eye protection to view the lunar eclipse. The moon will be visible to the naked eye but those who wish to get a better view should go to a high lookout point or somewhere with an unobstructed view to the east north-east.
Those who wish to make this an educational event for their children, or themselves can join the Dubai Astronomy Group at Al Thuraya Astronomy Center in Mushrif Park from 5Pm – 9PM.
Entry is Dhs 20 per adult and Dhs 10 per child and will have naked-eye observation, telescopic observation, and have astro-photography opportunities as well as a presentation from the group and question-and-answer session.