Blue Supermoon Might Turn Red in Total Lunar Eclipse Jan. 31

For 15 years, In&Out Magazine has been the definitive source of “Everything that’s going on” in and out of the community. We thank you, our readers, as well as the businesses that support the magazine through advertising, for that opportunity. But with little going on, and many businesses suspending or canceling their ads during the Covid-19 crisis, we are suspending publication of the magazine and web sites for the month of May. 


total lunar eclipse
A total lunar eclipse in 2014 turned the moon orange and red. Photo: NASA/Brian Day

Early risers on Wednesday, Jan. 31 are in for a treat. At about 5:52 a.m. local time across Arizona, while it’s still dark, a big full moon sinking to the western horizon will fall completely into Earth’s shadow. Weather permitting, this total lunar eclipse will be easy to view.

What You’ll See At about 4:48 a.m., Earth’s shadow will take a bite out of the moon. The bite will grow larger until the moon is fully engulfed. It’s well worth watching this process—especially the last few moments before totality. (All times are local for Arizona. For other regions, see this NASA page.)

january 31 2018 eclipse timeline

Red Moon During the total eclipse the moon will be dark but visible, gradually turning brown or possibly orange or red, as sunlight from all the world’s sunrises and sunsets is scattered by Earth’s atmosphere, hits the moon, and is reflected back to your eyes. The color and intensity varies with each eclipse, depending on dust and clouds in those sunsets. In rare instances, a rich, deep hue creates what astronomers call a blood-red moon.

Blue Moon The second full moon in a month (there was one on Jan. 1) is known as a blue moon. It’s just a label. Actual blue moons are rare, and due to volcanic eruptions or huge forest fires—hence the phrase “once in a blue moon.”

Supermoon As occurred Jan. 1, this full moon will be a supermoon, which happens when a full moon coincides with the moon’s closest approach to Earth on its non-circular orbit. A supermoon can be 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than the smallest full moons.

So the Jan. 31 event can be called a totally eclipsed blue supermoon that might turn red.

How it Works Every 29.5 days, the moon orbits Earth and creates a loose alignment of the sun, Earth and moon. Because the moon’s orbit is slightly askew compared to the plane of Earth’s orbit around the sun, the sun’s light usually falls full on the face of the moon at this periodic juncture, and we see a full moon. But every now and then, the alignment is perfect, and Earth gets in the way.

Fun Fact Total lunar eclipses won’t always be possible. The moon is moving away from Earth by about 1.6 inches a year. Right now, Earth can fully cover the moon with its shadow. Billions of years from now, the moon be too far away to be totally engulfed in Earth’s umbra.

The next total lunar eclipse visible from Arizona, an evening event, will be Jan. 20, 2019.

Note: The partial eclipse ends at 8:11 a.m., after moonset.


SOURCES: “The Moon Book,” NASA, Fred Espenak (Mr. Eclipse); EclipseWise.com; timeanddate.com


Help Save Our Community
Small businesses are the lifeblood of our country and even more so this community. Supporting local businesses during this crisis can help keep our community economically viable. Please strongly consider supporting the businesses below, In&Out Magazine's display advertisers, as well as those in the Classifieds section of the magazine (see the full April 9 issue in PDF form). Many of these businesses have been part of the fabric of this community for two decades, not just serving our professional, service and retail needs but stepping up to support local charities, sports teams and so much more. Tip: If you know you’ll need to schedule a service, consider contacting a local business you trust and paying the standard fee for the deferred service. The links below go to their web sites.

Adult & Pediatric Allergy Associates • 602-242-4592
Anthem Senior Living • 602-909-9550
Appliance Pros • 502-501-5501
Business Network of Anthem • 623-455-9630
Carroll Law Firm • 623-551-9366
Century 21 Real Estate - Jeff Huff • 623-223-1221
Creative Home Enhancements • 623-551-5409
Daisy Dream Homes Real Estate • 623-879-3277
Daisy Mountain Dentistry • 623-551-5250
Desert Foothills Air Conditioning • 480-595-0938
Edward Jones • 623-551-0523
Element Dental Centers • 623-551-5555
Hand & Stone Massage • 623-551-6602
Kendallwood Design • 602-252-3844
Kodiak Roofing • 602-501-7717
Luv My PC • 480-703-6609
Merrill Gardens • 623-201-4881
North Valley Water Solutions • 623-551-0515
Preferred Business of Anthem • 623-551-0523 
Prickett Realty • 623-551-8111
ProSkill Services • 623-551-7473
RE/MAX Professionals - Mike Higgins • 623-640-7502
Rise Above Remodeling • 623-551-2013
Soft Water Plus • 623-551-7383
SonoranScapes Landscaping • 602-842-9948
State Farm Insurance - Justin Simons • 623-551-3700
Storage at Anthem • 623-226-8634
Sunset Cabinets • 623-687-6579
Thompson & McGinnis Attorneys at Law • 602-952-2666
Titan Tree Care • 623-444-8448
Titan Pest Control • 623-879-8700
Wyman Plumbing & Mechanical • 623-551-6688

For more local businesses, see In&Out Magazine Classifed Ads >>>  
 
Robert Roy Britt
NoPho resident Robert Roy Britt has written for In&Out publications since its inception in 2005. Britt began his journalism career in New Jersey newspapers in the early 1990s. He later became a science writer and was editor-in-chief of the online media sites Space.com and Live Science. He has written four novels. Email the author.
Robert Roy Britt on Email

Robert Roy Britt

NoPho resident Robert Roy Britt has written for In&Out publications since its inception in 2005. Britt began his journalism career in New Jersey newspapers in the early 1990s. He later became a science writer and was editor-in-chief of the online media sites Space.com and Live Science. He has written four novels. Email the author.

npneditor has 531 posts and counting.See all posts by npneditor