Telescopes and eyeballs around the UAE will be spinning towards the Eastern horizon to catch a glimpse of what will likely be one of the biggest celestial events of the year: the blue blood super moon
Tonight, at around 6.04pm – 6.07pm, the skies will fall a little darker as the moon enters total eclipse. It’s reflected light will be completely obscured as the earth travels between it and the sun.
Yeah, lunar eclipses are fine and everything, but this 2018, the people expect a little more of a show from their cosmos. Astronomical phenomena now have to compete with Playstations and Minecraft, Netflix and macro-nurtient smoothies.
Without further ado, the skies above Dubai present to you: The blue blood super moon.
Sounds cool. What does it actually mean though?
We can all agree we do have a simply super moon. I mean Saturn’s largest moon Ganymead is nice and everything, with it’s oxygen atmosphere and ice. But it just doesn’t have the natural charisma of our own moon.
Of course the technical definition of a super moon, is a little more specific. A moon is officially a super moon when the appearance of a full moon coincides with its position in orbit being at the point where it is closest to earth. Super moons appear to be about 10-15 per cent larger and can be up to 60 per cent brighter.
The blue moon actually refers to a specific stage within the moon’s cycle – rather than the color of the moon. The colour, especially in the moments immediately prior to, after and during the partial eclipse stages, will more than likely appear red or rusty due to earth’s umbral shadow. Which is why this sort of moon is often referred to as a blood moon.
Super soon…there will be a #Supermoon! Just before dawn on Jan. 31 a lunar trifecta – the Super Blue Blood Moon – will be visible in the sky. This full moon is the third in a series of “supermoons,” which is when the full Moon is at or near its closest point to Earth in its orbit. It will also be 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.” Make sure you get outside to experience this lunar event for yourself! Weather permitting, the West Coast, Alaska and Hawaii will have a spectacular view of totality from start to finish (swipe to see the map). Unfortunately, eclipse viewing will be more challenging in the Eastern time zone. The eclipse begins at 5:51 AM ET, as the Moon is about to set in the western sky, and the sky is getting lighter in the east. Credit: NASA #nasa #space #moon #supermoon #eclipse #lunareclipse #superbluebloodmoon #earth #sun #trifecta #sky #astronomy #solarsystem #orbit #bloodmoon #january
Unlike a solar eclipse, you can watch this event safely with the naked eye. However due to the forecasted light cloud cover and because the event is happening shortly after sunset – the conditions for viewing may not be optimal in this region.
To get the best possible viewing spot for this location, we spoke to Dubai-based amateur astronomer and authority on the Subject, Amol Mane of Urban Astronomy, he suggested the following look-out points:
- The eastern fronds of Palm Jumeirah
- Creek Park
- Desert areas
If you’d rather head to an organised event, Dubai Astronomy Group is holding a special eclipse event at Al Thuraya Astronomy Center. In addition to the moon’s own show, there will be an astro cinema and planetarium (tickets sold separately).
Entrance AED 20 (kids AED 10) from 5pm-9pm. 04 221 6603.