It’s not every morning that you get the opportunity to witness a triple lunar coincidence in the pre-dawn skies before you’ve even brewed your coffee. But on Wednesday morning in the United States, early morning skygazers were treated to what the internet has dubbed a “super blue blood moon.”(Many of you in Australia and eastern Asia got to see this during your Wednesday evening, in which case you might have needed to brew something strong to help you stay up).
There’s a lot packed into that phrase “super blue blood moon.”
• A BLUE moon happens when there are two full moons within a single calendar month.
• A supermoon occurs when the moon orbits closer to planet Earth than usual. There was a supermoon on Jan. 1 to start off the year, too. That’s how we get a “SUPER blue moon.”
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• Now comes the “blood part.” During a lunar eclipse, Earth passes between the moon and the sun, and the planet casts its shadow over its lunar satellite. It’s nothing like the spectacle of a total solar eclipse, but the red tinge the moon takes on is striking. And it gives us the “super blue BLOOD moon.”