A rare super blue blood moon that has not been seen by much of the world for more than 150 years has been gracing the world’s skies.
A ‘super blue blood moon’ is the result of a blue moon – the second full moon in a calendar month – occurring at the same time as a super moon, when the moon is at perigee and about 14 per cent brighter than usual.
It also combines with a blood moon – the moment during a lunar eclipse when the moon, which is in the Earth’s shadow, takes on a reddish hue.
While people in the eastern Hemisphere saw their last Blue Moon total lunar eclipse in 1982, for the Western Hemisphere, the eclipse was the first blue moon total eclipse since 1866.
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Awe-inspiring footage shows the incredibly rare Super Blue Blood Moon rising over the historic Chesterton Windmill in Warwickshire on Thursday morning
The supermoon on Wednesday was spectacularly visible across the UK – it is pictured here by the Yarborough Monument, Culver Down, Isle of White
A Super Blue Blood Moon sets behind Downside Abbey, a Benedictine monastery, in Stratton-on-the-Fosse, in Somerset, England on Thursday morning
The super ‘blue’ moon rising over St. Catherine’s Island and Fort. Tenby in Pembrokeshire, Wales on Wednesday
A Super Blood Moon rises over buildings on 31 January in Beijing. The moon turned red and blue during a total lunar eclipse on Wednesday night (Image taken with double exposure)
The ‘super blue blood moon’ could clearly be seen in the sky in south-west China’s Chongqing area
The ‘super blue blood moon’ obscured by clouds illuminates Mayon volcano as it spews ash near Legazpi City, Albay province, Indonesia, early on 1 February
A super blue blood moon during a lunar eclipse on Wednesday is seen over Imam Khomeini Grand Mosque in Tehran, Iran
A red supermoon rises over the north of the Gaza Strip, Palestine on Wednesday – a ‘supermoon’ occurs when a full moon falls at the same time as its perigee, which is the closest point of the moon’s orbit with the Earth. According to NASA his makes the moon larger and brighter by 14%
A super blue blood moon rises behind the 2,500-year-old Parthenon temple on the Acropolis of Athens, Greece, on Wednesday
The Sagrada Familia Basilica is backdropped by a super blue blood moon in Barcelona, Spain, on Wednesday
The supermoon over the Mediterranean Sea in Corigliano Calabro, Italy, as fishermen arrange their nets
It’s not a trailer for the film ET – this cyclist is in front of the supermoon at Roque de los Muchachos, La Palma
A super blue blood moon behind a mountain is seen from Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway, on Wednesday
A supermoon rises over the Great Bends Lighthouse on the Raritan Bay, Wednesday, in South Amboy, New Jersey
A supermoon rises between the legs of the Arch in St. Louis, on Wednesday
Photos of the rare super blood moon taken in Bishop, California, on Wednesday
A view of the ‘supermoon’ in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Wednesday
The moon behind the Walkie Talkie building in London
As well as a supermoon, the spectacle is a blue moon, defined as the second full moon in a calendar month. UK astronomy enthusiasts looking to see the blue moon at its top-most point will have to brave the cold and windy weather. Pictured is a plane flying in front of the moon in London
The moon above London on Wednesday night
Those in London expecting to see a lunar eclipse were disappointed, as it was definitely not be visible from the UK, not even a partial eclipse
Dr Daniel Brown, an astronomy expert from Nottingham Trent University, told MailOnline that when the moon is quite low in the horizon – for instance when it is rising or sinking past the horizon – the atmosphere of the earth will redden it (pictured) independent of an eclipse. Pictured is the moon rising above flats in north London on Wednesday
The spectacle in London on Wednesday was stunningly beautiful
‘It’s an astronomical trifecta,’ said Kelly Beatty, a senior editor at Sky and Telescope magazine.
‘That red light you see is sunlight that has skimmed and bent through Earth’s atmosphere and continued on through space to the moon,’ said Alan MacRobert of Sky and Telescope magazine.
‘In other words, it’s from all the sunrises and sunsets that ring the world at the moment.’
While much of the world has experienced a ‘super blue blood moon’ today, the moon above the UK this evening is just a super blue moon.
This occurs when a blue moon occurs at the same time as a super moon, but without also combining with a blood moon.
The previous ‘Supermoons’ appeared on 03 December 2017 and on 01 January 2018. This one is seen here in Norway
The moon rises over Aizanoi Ancient city, in Cavdarhisar district of Kutahya on January 31, 2018
The moon sets behind the Statue of Liberty in New York. This is the last one in a series of three consecutive ‘Supermoons’, dubbed the ‘Supermoon Trilogy’
The previous ‘Supermoons’ appeared on 03 December 2017 and on 01 January 2018. A ‘Supermoon’ commonly is described as a full moon at its closest distance to the earth with the moon appearing larger and brighter than usual. Myanmar, pictured
A ‘super blood blue moon’ is seen during an eclipse behind an elephant statue at a temple in Bangkok, Thailand
A rare super blue blood moon that has not been seen by much of the world for more than 150 years is gracing the world’s skies. The celestial event is the result of three lunar phenomena happening at once. It is pictured here in Lancelin, Australia
The moon rises over a pagoda in Kumal, some 105 kms away from Mandalay City
UK experts suggest the moon, having risen above Britain at 5:00pm GMT, will remain in the skies until 8:00am GMT tomorrow.
Despite the UK not experiencing a lunar eclipse, and therefore missing out on a blood moon, many pictures seem to show the satellite glowing red.
Dr Daniel Brown, an astronomer at Nottingham Trent University, told MailOnline this is because when the moon is quite low in the horizon – for instance when it is rising or sinking past the horizon – the atmosphere of the earth will redden it independent of an eclipse.
A lunar eclipse occurs when the sun is on the other side of the Earth while the moon is located on Earth’s opposite side.
The super blue blood moon is pictured behind the Statue of Liberty in New York. The event began at 10:51am UTC (10:51 GMT, 05:51 ET) with the full lunar eclipse starting at 12:51 am UTC (12:51 GMT, 07:51 ET) and reaching its maximum at 1.29pm UTC (1.29pm GMT, 08:29am ET)
The partial eclipse is seen just above the horizon in Washington DC. The darker part of Earth’s shadow began to blanket part of the moon with a reddish tint at 6:48 am EST (11:48 GMT)
The moon is pictured behind the Staten Island Ferry, seen from Brooklyn
People watch the super blue blood moon over Brooklyn. While people in the eastern Hemisphere saw their last Blue Moon total lunar eclipse in 1982, for the Western Hemisphere, this eclipse will be the first blue moon total eclipse since 1866
‘Most of the time the full moon sits above or below Earth’s shadow and the moon remains flooded with sunlight’, explains Dr Tanya Hill, an Honorary Fellow of the University of Melbourne, writing for The Conversation.
‘But twice a year, the three bodies fall into line so that Earth casts its shadow on the moon.’
The Earth’s shadow is not completely black but has a reddishy hue, which has led many cultures to describe it as a blood moon.
Sunlight manages to reach the moon but first it has to pass through Earth’s atmosphere.
This makes the sky redder (as it scatters away shorter shorter wavelengths of light) and also bends the path of the light, directing it into the shadow.
Unlike a solar eclipse, this lunar eclipse can be safely viewed without protective eyewear.
A so-called ‘Supermoon’ rises above the Olympic rings installation at the Alpensia Ski Jumping Center of the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games 2018
People take photos of the super moon in Lancelin, Australia
A super blue blood moon rises over the city of Perth in Western Australia. Enthusiasts have been waiting 150 years to see the triple lunar event
The ‘super blue blood moon’ is seen over Los Angeles, California, on January 31, 2018
The moon rises between two office buildings in Bangkok
‘We’ve had a lot of super moons and we’ve had lunar eclipses, but it’s rare that it also happens to be a blue moon,’ said Jason Aufdenberg, associate professor of physics and astronomy at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s campus in Daytona Beach, Florida.
‘All three of these cycles lining up is what makes this unusual,’ he added.
‘It’s just a wonder to behold.’
The first super moon of this year appeared on 1 January.
Lunar eclipses during a super moon happen rather regularly and the last one was in September 2015.
Lunar eclipses occur at least twice a year while super moons can happen four to six times a year.
A rare super blue blood moon – which might look similar to this large orange moon spotted rising over Griffith Park in Los Angeles – is gracing the world’s skies. When the moon is nearer the horizon, moonlight must pass through more atmosphere than when it is overhead, which is why the moon sometimes appear orange
Crowds gather on the Marine Parade Beach to watch the moon rise in Napier, New Zealand just hours before the start of the rare lunar spectacle. A Super Blue Blood Moon is the result of three lunar phenomena happening all at once
The last time the spectacle was seen was in 1866, 152 years ago. Pictured is the full moon above the Marine Parade Beach in New Zealand
Dr Daniel Brown an astronomy expert from Nottingham Trent University told MailOnline that when the moon is quite low in the horizon the atmosphere of the earth will redden it independent of eclipse. Pictured in New Zealand
The moon is seen during a lunar eclipse, referred to as the ‘super blue blood moon’, in Beijing
Pictured the large orange moon rises above the old city of Jerusalem this morning
The red moon rises over hills near the city of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk on Sakhalin Island in Russia’s Far East ahead of the appearance of the rare super blue blood moon. The UK, Europe and Africa will miss out on seeing the red tinge on the super moon as they’ll be unable to see the lunar eclipse
The moon will be much bigger and brighter than usual it will also be second full moon of the month, making it a blue moon. It might look similar to the orange-coloured super moon rising over the tower of the Lakhta Cente in St Petersburg this morning
A ‘super blue blood moon’ is the result of a blue moon – the second full moon in a calendar month – occurring at the same time as a super moon, when the moon is at perigee and about 14 per cent brighter than usual. Pictured is the large, super moon rising over the hills near the city of Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk on Sakhalin Island in Russia this morning
The incredible celestial event turns the moon a reddish hue as the lunar eclipse happens. Pictured is the super moon rising behind the Saffron Square building in Croydon ahead of this ‘unusual’ event
The next super moon lunar eclipse visible throughout all of the United States will be January 21, 2019 – though that one will not be a blue moon.
A full moon occurs every 29.5 days, but our months are longer (excluding February).
This mismatch of timing means that every couple of years there comes a month with two full moons.
According to experts from Nasa, the event will also offer experts a chance to see what happens to the moon when it cools quickly.
This information will help them understand characteristics of the regolith — the mixture of soil and loose rocks on the surface — and how it changes over time.
A rare occurrence called a ‘Super Blue Blood Moon’ is seen behind the U.S. flag at Santa Monica Beach in Los Angeles
A Super Blue Blood Moon hovers over Los Angeles, California in the early hours of January 31, 2018, during an event not seen since 1866 when three fairly common lunar happenings occur at the same time
The moon is pictured behind the East Point Lighthouse in Cumberland County New Jersey
The moon rises near Bondi beach in Sydney hours before the full lunar eclipse
The partial eclipse began at around 11.48am GMT, before reaching its peak at 1.29pm GMT. According to Sky and Telescope, the last blue moon total lunar eclipse visible from North America happened on March 31, 1866. A man takes pictures as the moon rises near Bondi beach
Pictured is the moon rising near Bondi beach hours before the celestial event
The Earth’s shadow is not completely black but has a reddishy hue, which has led many cultures to describe it as a blood moon. Pictured is the moon above Marine Parade Beach in Napier, New Zealand
‘The whole character of the moon changes when we observe with a thermal camera during an eclipse,’ said Paul Hayne of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado Boulder.
‘In the dark, many familiar craters and other features can’t be seen, and the normally nondescript areas around some craters start to ‘glow’ because the rocks there are still warm.’
Normally, the transitions into and out of darkness and the temperature changes that go with them, are spread over the course of a lunar day (29-and-a-half days).
‘During a lunar eclipse, the temperature swing is so dramatic that it’s as if the surface of the moon goes from being in an oven to being in a freezer in just a few hours,’ said Noah Petro, deputy project scientist for NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO, at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
From the Haleakala Observatory on the island of Maui in Hawaii, the team will conduct their investigations at invisible wavelengths where heat is sensed.
They’ve done this kind of study a few times already, singling out individual lunar locations to see how well they retain warmth throughout the eclipse.
Crowds look on as the super moon rises behind the Fremantle War Memorial at Monument Hill in Australia on November 14, 2016
Pictured is a super moon rising over lake george near Canberra
Skywatchers gather at Beijing Planetarium to watch a ‘super blood blue moon’ eclipse with telescopes
People watch the the Super moon rising in the sand dunes on January 31, 2018 in Lancelin, Australia. Last seen from Australia in December 1983, a Super Blue Blood Moon is the result of three lunar phenomena happening all at once
Experts believe the last time a super moon, blue moon and total lunar eclipse were all visible at the same time was from the eastern United States was on 31 May, 1844
How quickly or slowly the surface loses heat depends on the sizes of the rocks and the characteristics of the material, including its composition, how porous it is and how fluffy it is.
By comparing the two types of observations, the team is able to look at variations in particular areas — say, the lunar swirls at Reiner Gamma or an impact crater and the loose debris around it.
This kind of information is useful for practical purposes such as scouting out suitable landing sites. It also helps researchers understand the evolution of the surface of the moon.
‘These studies will help us tell the story of how impacts large and small are changing the surface of the moon over geological time,’ said Dr Petro.