blue supermoon Toronto

Rare super blue blood moon eclipse coming to Toronto skies

If you liked the super wolf moon that ushered in January, you're going to love the moon that ends it.

NASA reports that the second full moon of January, slated to rise on the 31st, will be "extra special." They're calling it a  a "super blue blood moon."

"The January 31st supermoon will feature a total lunar eclipse," reads the space agency's blog. "The moon will lose its brightness and take on an eerie, fainter-than-normal glow from the scant sunlight that makes its way through Earth’s atmosphere."

Because of the way our atmosphere blends light, an eclipsed moon often appears redder than usual. This is where it gets the nickname "blood moon."

"Blue moons" are what celestial buffs call the second full moon to rise in a month. They tend to happen every two and a half years – we're just lucky enough this year to see a blue moon / blood moon / supermoon hybrid.

Experts say that the total blue moon eclipse on Jan. 31 will be the first skywatching event of its kind in more than 150 years.

"Before 2017, there was an 8 percent partial eclipse on Dec. 31, 2009, but, for a total eclipse of a Blue Moon, we have to go all the way back to March 31, 1866," writes Space of the upcoming celestial phenomenon.

"After this year, the next time that a Blue Moon passes through Earth's umbra will be on Dec. 31, 2028, and, after that, on Jan. 31, 2037. Both of these eclipses will be total."

The best time to view the upcoming Supermoon eclipse in Toronto will be at (and before) 7:30 a.m. on January 31, when the moon is close to the horizon. The moon will actually set just a few minutes later before reaching maximum eclipse, but it'll still look red before it disappears. 

Experts recommend going to a high point, or an unobstructed area with free sight to the west and northwest for your best view of this rare eclipse. 

Lead photo by

Cyclonic Niloy

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