Set your alarms for early Wednesday morning and join us for a spectacular phenomenon that only happens once in a blue moon. Head out on the water with our SUP tour guides as we watch a lunar trifecta that has not been seen in over a century: The Super Blue Blood Moon.

In reality eclipsed supermoons aren’t all that rare. But, the total eclipse of a Blue Moon hasn’t occurred since March 31, 1866. That’s 152 years! So, if you can drag yourself out of bed and our local weather cooperates, you’re in for a treat!

We will meet at Island Water Sports at 5:45am and head out to the intracoastal with our SUP Instructors for a glimpse just before the moon sets. Plus those attending will have a unique opportunity to view the wildlife around Deerfield Island Park during sunrise.

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And keep reading for your Super Blue Blood Moon viewing guide to help you get the best view in or out of the water…



Your lunar awesomeness all-you-need-to-know guide



So what are we looking for anyway?

This Wednesday morning, we will experience something called a Super Blue Blood Moon. It is a rare time when three lunar phenomenon happen on the same night… a Super Moon, a blue moon, and a blood moon (or lunar eclipse).

First let’s break this lunar event down by its four parts:

Supermoon

Super Blue Blood Moon

Supermoon and regular moon side-by-side as in this graphic. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

 

A supermoon is when the moon is close to its nearest approach to Earth (known as perigee). During a supermoon the moon can appear about 14 percent brighter than usual. This is the most rare and last of a series of 3. Read more about supermoons here.

Blue Moon

Chances are you have used the phrase “once in a blue moon” — but have you ever wondered where it came from? Don’t let the nickname mislead you, though — the moon won’t look blue at all. The term “blue moon” actually refers to the rare instance when there is a second full moon in a calendar month. Since this full moon begins on the eve of January 31st, it is considered a Blue Moon. So the term comes from the fact that a “blue moon” typically only happens every 2 and a half years but this year expect to see two blue moons with the second occurring in April.

Blood Moon

A “blood moon” occurs during a lunar eclipse when faint red sunbeams peek out around the edges of the moon, giving it a reddish, copper color. An eclipse is where the moon is covered by the Earth’s shadow, known as the period of totality. This eclipse will last just over one hour and 15 minutes, according to EarthSky. But, unlike the solar eclipse, a lunar eclipse is perfectly safe to watch in the night with the naked eye. This is one not to miss as the next lunar eclipse to be seen in North American is not predicted to happen until  January 21, 2019.
Although viewing will be more challenging in the Eastern time zone, you may still catch part of the eclipse beginning at 5:51 AM  and ending around 7am with the height of viewing being around 6:45am.


Where can I see it?

If you are reading this blog and live in  Western North America, Alaska or Hawaii will be able to see the eclipse before sunrise on Wednesday, according to NASA. If you live in the Middle East, Asia, eastern Russia, Australia and New Zealand, the “super blue blood moon” will be visible during moon rise on the morning of January 31. And, as long as the weather doesn’t ruin things, observers in Alaska, Australia, eastern Asia and Hawaii will be experience the whole phenomenon from start to finish.
For those living in the eastern US, viewing might be a bit harder as the moon will begin setting as the trifecta is taking place.
NASA says the best spots to watch the entire celestial show will be in California and western Canada. But we can still see a part of this phenomenon. Since the moon will set before the moon becomes completely enveloped in the Earth’s shadow, expect to see a partial eclipse (about 25%) here in South Florida. However, the moon’s initial entrance into the umbra will be the main spectacular and if you get up early enough and the weather cooperates, you are sure to get a glimpse.
George Johnston, lunar blogger at NASA says, “Your best opportunity if you live in the east is to head outside about 6.45 a.m. and get to a high place to watch the start of the eclipse,” Johnston said. “Make sure you have a clear line of sight to the horizon in the west, opposite from where the sun will rise.” We suggest heading to Sawgrass park for the best views.

Viewing the Super Blue Blood Moon Online

If the weather does not cooperate or you wish to see the eclipse from an ideal location (like to comfort of your bed), there are several ways to watch. NASA TV’s live feed will be showing the event live. The Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles is also doing a live feed at the lunar eclipse. Or, head to Virtual Telescope who will also be streaming the event.

 


Best places to view the Super Blue Blood Moon in Person

Make sure to head out before the moonsets to glimpse.

Location Moonset (EST) % Eclipsed
Boston, MA 6:58 a.m. 16
Lewiston, ME 6:59 a.m. 17
Miami, FL 7:04 a.m. 25
New York, NY 7:06 a.m. 29
Washington, DC 7:15 a.m. 43
Montreal, QC 7:17 a.m. 46
Pittsburgh, PA 7:31 a.m. 68
Atlanta, GA 7:35 a.m. 75
Toronto, ON 7:36 a.m. 76
Chattanooga, TN 7:41 a.m. 84
Cincinnati, OH 7:46 a.m. 92
Louisville, KY 7:50 a.m. 98

 



Learn More About the Super Blue Blood Moon

Mobile Apps

To find out whether the eclipse will be visible where you live and to preview what it will look like, use an astronomy app such as SkySafari 6, Star Walk 2 or Stellarium Mobile.

How?

According to Space.com,

Open the app, and then search for and center the moon — don’t worry if it’s below the horizon for now. Next, set the app’s date to Jan. 31, 2018, and the app’s time to about 1 a.m. in your local time zone. For locations in North America, the app will show the moon high in the night sky. Zoom in on the display until the moon shows as a good-sized disk.

Understanding how lunar eclipses work is easy if your app allows you to display the invisible circles representing the full and partial shadows that Earth casts into space. In the SkySafari 6 app, the setting is located under Settings > Solar System > Orbits, Paths & Shadows. Enable the Earth & Moon Shadow Circles, and exit Settings. The smallest circle is the zone, or umbra, where the sun is completely blocked by the Earth. The larger circle is the penumbra, the region where some of the sun is still shining on objects passing through it.

Other Tools to Learn

Love to observe the Moon? It’s easy to make a Moon Phases Calendar and Calculator that will keep all of the dates and times for the year’s phases of the Moon at your fingertips.

Take notes and record your own illustrations of the Moon with a Moon observation journal, ready to download and print at moon.nasa.gov.