Wed, Jan 31, 2018 - Page 14 News List

“Super blue blood moon:” Stargazers prepare for rare celestial event
今天紅色月全食逢「藍月」 天文迷拭目以待

The phases of the lunar eclipse today, Jan. 31.

Photo courtesy of Taipei Astronomical Museum

A rare celestial event will grace the skies today when a blue moon and lunar eclipse combine with the moon being at its closest point to Earth, resulting in what is being called a “super blue blood moon.”

The trifecta takes place today and is best visible from the western hemisphere. The last time the three elements combined at the same time was in 1866.

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 percent brighter than usual, and a so-called blood moon — the moment during a lunar eclipse when the moon, in the Earth’s shadow, takes on a reddish tint. The reddish tint appears because only red light, which has a longer wavelength, is refracted by the Earth’s atmosphere to the moon’s surface.

Stargazers living in the US will be able to see the eclipse before sunrise today, according to NASA. For those in the Middle East, Asia, eastern Russia, Australia and New Zealand, the event will be visible during moonrise today.

The eclipse itself is expected to last about an hour and a quarter. For anyone unable to watch the event in person, it will be streamed live online.

In Taiwan, the total lunar eclipse will start this evening at 6:50pm and end at 0:10am, with its full sequence visible to the naked eye across Taiwan. In collaboration with astronomical organizations around the globe, the Taipei Astronomical Museum (TAM) will be providing full Internet coverage of the event. For more information, visit TAM’s Web site at

(The Guardian, additional information from Taipei Astronomical Museum)


1. celestial adj.


(tian1 ti3 de5)

2. lunar eclipse phr.


(yue4 shi2)

3. hemisphere phr.


(ban4 qiu2)

4. full moon phr.


(man3 yue2)

5. stargazer n.


(guan1 xing1 zhe3)








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