Super Blue Blood Moon 2018: What, when and where

People from across the country are gazing up into the sky early Wednesday morning to get a glimpse of the rare Super Blue Blood Moon.

Not since Andrew Johnson was President, the second dome on the U.S. Capitol was completed and Jesse James completed his first robbery will the skies experience an event like this.

NASA has started its live stream of the total lunar eclipse that will occur with a blue moon, known as a Super Blue Blood Moon, for people to see the spectacular event unfold. 

By no stretch of the definition is a full moon rare. It happens approximately once a month, or every 29.5 days. Occasionally, it happens twice in one month, approximately every three years or so. This event is known as a Blue Moon, according to Fox 5 DC.


The last Blue Moon occurred in July 2015 and in 2018, we'll experience two of them, a phenomena that won't happen for another 19 years. The second Blue Moon is slated to occur in late March.

The Blood Moon occurs because the Earth is passing between the Moon and the Sun, which gives the Moon a reddish tint to it. It's caused by light bending around the Earth because of gravity passing around a portion of the atmosphere, more commonly known as a lunar eclipse.

A Blue Moon combined with a Supermoon (when the Moon is at its closest point to Earth and appears to be 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than normal) the rare phenomena is called a Super Blue Blood Moon happens. Supermoons generally only occur once every 14 months and will not happen again until January 2019.

The last time all of these events occurred simultaneously in the North America was 1866.


When can you see it

Depending upon where you live in the U.S., your viewing times and experiences may differ.

NASA has provided a live feed of the eclipse beginning at 5:30 a.m. EST.

At 5:51 a.m. EST on Jan. 31, space observers in New York City will see the Moon enter Earth's penumbra (the lighter, outer part of its shadow), according to The penumbra slightly darkens the Moon, though only a little. It will touch the umbra, the darker part of the shadow which gives the eclipse look at 6:48 a.m. local time. However, the moon sets just 16 minutes later.

In Chicago, observers will see the penumbra touch at 4:51 a.m. CST and the umbral eclipse starts at 5:48 a.m. CST. By 6:16 a.m., it will have the blood-red color and enter into totality. The Moon sets at 7:03 a.m. in Chicago.

For Denver residents, the eclipse starts 3:51 a.m. local time, with the umbra hitting the Moon's edge at 4:48 a.m. Maximum eclipse occurs at 6:29 a.m. and the lunar eclipse ends at 7:07 a.m. local time, with the moon setting 7 minutes later.

Californians may have the best experience of all. The penumbral eclipse starts at 2:51 a.m. PST and the partial eclipse starts at 3:48 a.m.; almost an hour later, at 4:51 a.m. PST, the total phase starts and lasts until 5:29 a.m. PST.

Totality ends at 6:07 a.m. and the moon is set to emerge from the umbra at 7:11 a.m PST.