Anyone in Red Deer with a good view of the western horizon will be able to see Wednesday’s super blue blood moon — if clouds in the forecast don’t interfere.
“If you can get out in the country and have a view to the western horizon that would be ideal. If you can’t get out to the country, Michener Hill has a good view to the western horizon,” said Alice Koning, lead astronomical interpreter with Kerry Wood Nature Centre, on Tuesday.
She said the darker the site, the more beautiful the moon will look. But it will still be visible from people’s backyards in Red Deer.
The last time a blue moon, super moon, and lunar eclipse happened all at once was in 1982 and won’t occur again until 2037.
“We relatively often get lunar eclipses. We get blue moons. We get these super moons. All of these are fairly normal. It’s just the fact that they’re all happening at once, which is really, really cool,” Koning said.
A blue moon is a full moon that comes twice in the same month. A lunar eclipse is when the moon passes into the earth’s shadow and the moon often turns red so it’s called a blood moon. When the moon is closer to the earth, appearing larger and brighter, it’s called a super moon.
She said Wednesday’s event starts at 3:50 a.m., but the moon won’t turn red immediately, and it lasts four-and-a-half hours from start to finish.
“You don’t have to be up and watching that entire time. The maximum point is around 6:30 a.m. Even if you set your alarm for 6:20 and you poke your head out for a second, you’ll have seen the most exciting part.
“Just a short little break in the clouds, and you’ll see it.”
The only part that Central Albertans won’t be able to see is the very end, but that’s the most boring part, Koning said with a laugh.
Todd Nivens, Kerry Wood executive director, said the super blue blood moon is a good excuse to get up early. Just make sure to bundle up for -18 C weather. Special safety glasses needed for the eclipse of the sun last summer are not needed.
“A lunar eclipse is super, super safe,” Nivens said.
He said directly in front of the former Michener Services administration building, near the junction of 40th Avenue and 55th Street, would be a good spot to view the moon without any obstructions to the west.
(With files from The Canadian Press)