MANILA What is fascinating about the so-called "super blue blood moon", a.k.a. "supermoon"?
The super blue blood moon or "supermoon" is a full moon that appears 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than the usual full moon. It appears when the moon orbits closest to Earth during its full phase, international media reports quote National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) geologists as saying.
A blue moon is the second full moon in a month, while a blood moon is seen when a full moon temporarily turns red during a total lunar eclipse due to the "refraction of sunlight".
The "super blue blood moon" can be seen for about two hours, between 8:51 p.m. and 10:07 p.m. on Jan. 31, said Dario dela Cruz, chief astronomer of at the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA).
"The greatest part of the eclipse will be seen at about 9:29 p.m. and it can be romantic to some viewers, but some would take it as a harbinger of a volcanic eruption or revolution within the heart of the earth," de la Cruz said.
The state bureau's chief astronomer said the rare lunar phenomenon might be seen anywhere in the Philippines, except when rains, showers, or cloudy skies hamper the view.
"The last time this (super blue blood moon) was observed in the Philippines was on Dec. 30, 1982. Rare lunar events marked the entry of 2018 as two supermoons are set to shine on the first and last evenings of January, with the finale expected to have an 'extra special' red glow," NASA said on its website.
But moon-gazing will be twice the fun in the grand finale by the end of January, when a very rare "super blue blood moon" will appear.
"The Jan. 31st supermoon will feature a total lunar eclipse, with totality viewable from western North America across the Pacific to Eastern Asia," NASA said.
"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," NASA added. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency