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Super blue blood moon delights skywatchers

2018-01-31

Skywatchers are being treated to the extremely rare phenomenon of a super blue blood moon early Wednesday.

The unusual lunar trifecta is occurring for the first time in North America since 1866, according to Space.com.

SUPER BLUE BLOOD MOON 2018: WHAT, WHEN AND WHERE

“The Jan. 31 full moon is special for three reasons: it’s the third in a series of ‘supermoons,’ when the Moon is closer to Earth in its orbit -- known as perigee -- and about 14 percent brighter than usual,” explains NASA. “It’s also the second full moon of the month, commonly known as a ‘blue moon.’ The super blue moon will pass through Earth’s shadow to give viewers in the right location a total lunar eclipse. While the Moon is in the Earth’s shadow it will take on a reddish tint, known as a ‘blood moon.’

“For the (continental) U.S., the viewing will be best in the West,” explained Gordon Johnston, program executive and lunar blogger at NASA Headquarters in Washington, in a statement.

People set up telescopes on the waterfront for the super blue moon and eclipse in Hong Kong, China Jan. 31, 2018. (REUTERS/Bobby Yip)

Across the globe, skywatchers are closely monitoring the moon to see the rare event.

A NASA live feed of the event can be viewed here.

The unusual lunar showstopper won't happen again until 2037.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers