A "super moon" rise in the sky of Srinagar on January 30, 2018.
By Mahita Gajanan
January 30, 2018

Sky watchers will see the moon looking brighter and larger on January 31 when three lunar events — including a supermoon — coincide for the first time in 35 years.

But what exactly is a supermoon?

A supermoon is a full moon at its closest point to Earth during its orbit, according to Space.com. While the supermoon will look larger and give off more light on January 31 than a regular full moon, the difference can be hard to spot with the naked eye.

But the upcoming supermoon will be extra special because it is also a blue moon — the second full moon in a calendar month — and a blood moon, a moon which occurs during a lunar eclipse.

A lunar eclipse happens when the Earth moves between the sun and the moon, blocking sunlight from hitting the moon. As this happens, the moon takes on a reddish color, which is how it got the name “blood moon,” according to Space.com.

Because the January 31 supermoon is occurring during a lunar eclipse, and is also a blue moon and a blood moon, it is being called a “super blue blood moon.”

The upcoming supermoon is the third of 2018 and will complete the “supermoon trilogy,” according to NASA. The last two supermoons occurred on January 1 and December 3.



Write to Mahita Gajanan at mahita.gajanan@time.com.


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