Earlier this month, right after we rang in the New Year, our first full moon occurred officially on Jan. 2. It was considered a "supermoon" due to the fact that the moon was closest to Earth in its elliptical path.
At that time, on NBC10 Boston and necn we alluded to the fact that this month, we have the chance to see TWO full moons, and ironically, both are SUPERMOONS. When two full moons occur within the same month, we call that second full moon, a BLUE moon.
What also makes this second full moon supermoon so special is that it also falls on a total LUNAR eclipse. Now remember that total solar eclipse from last summer that had sky gazers all over the country looking up at the sky as the moon passed between the Earth and the sun, partially blocking the sun here in New England, but for parts of the United States in the path of totality, some places went dark for a few minutes.
With a lunar eclipse, it’s when the sun, the earth and the moon are aligned, with the Earth casting a shadow on the moon. When this happens, the moon turns orange red, and remains visible to the naked eye because our atmosphere refracts sunlight and indirectly lights up the surface of the moon.
For sky gazers across New England, we will only see a partial lunar eclipse because the moon will set by the time the lunar eclipse is expected to reach totality. As long as the clouds and fog remain at bay, we’ll be able to see at least the start of the lunar eclipse at 6:48 a.m. on Jan. 31. Since that is very close to the moonset/sunrise, the moon will be very low on the horizon. Be sure to get to higher ground or make sure to have an unobstructed view looking west-northwest.
The moonset occurs at 6:56 a.m. with the Total Lunar Eclipse starting at 7:51 a.m. and will not be visible to anyone across New England. The best place to see the complete lunar eclipse will be for our friends on the west coast.