Blue Moon to appear over Qatar sky on January 31

Blue Moon to appear over Qatar sky on January 31

It takes just 29 days for a full lunar cycle to pass-full moon to new moon and back again-which is a smidgen shorter than a calendar month.

Since the moon will be low in the sky from many locations with dawn providing just the right illumination of the scene, this eclipse may well be a photographer's dream.

Mario De Leo-Winkler, a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, said this eclipse is special for three reasons: it's the third in a series of "supermoons", which occur when the moon is closer to Earth in its orbit - known as perigee - and about 14 percent brighter than usual. It will appear its biggest and brightest because of a "moon illusion" effect that's created when you are able to compare the lunar body to other objects for scale, like buildings and foliage. There are between four and six super moons every year, according to astronomer Richard Nolle, who coined the term in 1979. The light is bent ever-so-slightly so that the red light converges on a point 200,000 miles away.

We've come to expect a full moon every month.

What is a blue moon?

You might have also heard or read Wednesday's full moon is a "Super Moon". Stargazers will need to wait until May 18, 2019, for a blue moon that fits this older, original definition.

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The term "blue moon" has nothing to do with color.

Total lunar eclipses occur during 5.6% of full Moons, meaning that a Blue, Super, totally eclipsed Moon occurs with 0.042% of full Moons: once every 2,380 full Moons or so.

This full moon is also a supermoon. This year, however, we'll be spoiled.

Visibility of the January 31 lunar eclipse.

A "blood moon" is pictured from Gosford, Australia, north of Sydney, October 8, 2014.

A lunar eclipse is the moon sliding into the earth's shadow, he says. "The eclipse begins at 5:51 a.m. ET, as the Moon is about to set in the western sky, and the sky is getting lighter in the east".

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"You're basically seeing all the world's sunrises and sunsets at that moment reflected off the surface of the Moon, so it should be quite spectacular".

As a result, totally eclipsed moons are sometimes also called "blood moons". Total lunar eclipses by themselves are not that rare, usually happening a few times a year. "For this eclipse, much of the US will be racing against sunrise". The eclipse will take place early Wednesday morning.

A supermoon in eclipse is pictured behind Glastonbury Tor in Glastonbury, U.K., September 27, 2015.

In Florida and for the rest of the East Coast, stargazers only will witness a partial eclipse.

The farther west you live, the higher the moon will be and the more of the eclipse you'll catch. "The moon is attractive nearly every night in nearly every phase, you don't have to wait for a "supermoon" or a "blue moon" to enjoy it", she said. But don't let the exciting name fool you: to the casual observer, supermoons don't look much bigger than on an average night.

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