SPOKANE, Wash. -- People across North America are preparing for a lunar phenomenon that hasn't occurred since 1866. Early Wednesday morning, a 'Super Blue Blood' moon will be visible in the night sky. It's the trifecta of a super moon, a blue moon, and a total lunar eclipse happening in one night.
The 'penultimate' eclipse begins Wednesday morning at 2:51 a.m. but it is not until about 4:51 a.m. that the total eclipse phase begins, and lasts until 5:29 a.m. That gives the Inland Northwest over 90 minutes to view the 'Super Blue Blood' Moon in its totality. No protective eyewear is necessary, unlike during a solar eclipse -- just look up into the night sky.
However, clouds may be an interruption. The best viewing area in Washington state will be Central Washington, around the Moses Lake Region. Eastern Washington and North Idaho are expected to see partly to mostly cloudy skies for the entirety of the eclipse, meaning there is at least a chance that portions of the moon will be visible in your region at some point during the eclipse.
Now, what exactly is happening in the sky when the eclipse happens? Let's break it down piece by piece.
1. Supermoon: This is our third one in about a month.Basically. it is when the full moon is closest to the earth in its orbit, making it look bigger and brighter than normal.
2. Blue Moon: When we see two full moons in one month, the second is called a blue moon, which happens every two to three years. This will be our second full moon of January - the last one was on the first.
3. Total Lunar Eclipse (Blood Moon):The lunar eclipse occurs when the earth's shadow blocks the sun and its light, making the moon look red. Plus, this will be a total lunar eclipse, more dramatic than the usual partial eclipse.
According to NASA, people living in North America, Alaska, or Hawaii, the eclipse will be visible before sunrise on Jan. 31. This means that the West Coast of North America is expected to have the best view of the event, with no interference by the sunrise.
If you're awake and watching the eclipse, snap a photo and send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, tag us on social media (Twitter & Facebook) @KREM2. Happy 'Super Blue Blood' viewing!