Lunar Showstopper: 1st super blue blood moon in 35 years

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The moon is putting on a rare cosmic show Wednesday.

It’s the first time in 35 years a blue moon has synced up with a supermoon and a total lunar eclipse.

Hawaii and Alaska have the best seats, along with the Canadian Yukon, Australia and Asia. The western U.S. should have good viewing, too, along with Russia. The U.S. East Coast, Europe and most of South America and Africa are out of luck for the eclipse.

The second full moon in a calendar month is a blue moon. This one also happens to be an especially close and bright moon, or supermoon. Add a total eclipse, known as a blood moon for its red tint, and it’s a lunar showstopper.

NASA is calling it a lunar trifecta: the first super blue blood moon since 1982. That combination won’t happen again until 2037.

The space agency plans to provide a live stream of the moon from ground telescopes, throughout the eclipse.

A lunar eclipse occurs when the sun, Earth and moon line up perfectly, casting Earth’s shadow on the moon.

Scientists are keen to study the sharp, sudden drop in temperature at the lunar surface, as Earth’s shadow blankets the moon. During the more than one hour of totality, the temperature will plunge 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 Celsius), said lunar scientist Noah Petro of Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. He’s deputy project scientist for NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, circling the moon since 2009. His team is taking special precautions to keep the spacecraft warm during the eclipse.

Perhaps just as important, Petro and others are hoping the big event gets more people looking up — not just Wednesday, but every day.

For the trivia crowd, the moon will be 223,820 miles (360,200 kilometres) away at the peak of the eclipse, close enough for supermoon status.

Just Posted

Red Deer man pleads guilty in stabbing death

Shane Dion McPhee pleaded guilty to manslaughter for February 2016 slaying

Hundreds oppose massive RV development at Buffalo Lake

About 400 angry residents turned up at a public hearing in Stettler… Continue reading

Watch: Pandas on the move

Artist Patrick LaMontagne shows his work in this time lapse video

Watch: Pandas on the move

Artist Patrick LaMontagne shows his work in this time lapse video

Rebels Fan Fest set for Wednesday

Time to cheer on the Rebels; Tickets on sale for WHL playoffs

Uber self-driving vehicle hits, kills pedestrian in Arizona; Company stops tests

TEMPE, Ariz. — Uber says it has suspended all of its self-driving… Continue reading

Tories want debate on 12-month mission to support UN mission in Mali

OTTAWA — Canada’s official Opposition wants a full parliamentary debate on the… Continue reading

Brand of lean ground beef recalled due to possible presence of E. coli

OTTAWA — A brand of lean ground beef is being recalled because… Continue reading

Police chief: 4th bombing shows ‘different level of skill’

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas’ capital city was rocked by the fourth bombing… Continue reading

Lacombe Skating Club presents Broadway on Ice

The Lacombe Figure Skating Club hosted its year-end carnival with a Broadway… Continue reading

WATCH: SPARC sparks conversations and connections in Red Deer

Families spend time together at G.H. Dawe on Sunday

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month