The Super Moon: A Space Sensation

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On Wednesday January 31st, much of the West Coast was left in awe while watching the great lunar phenomena, #superbloodbluemoon, which began at 5:51 EST. The super blood blue moon was a combination of three coinciding separate lunar events, which left the moon looking bigger, brighter, and redder than it had since the last one in 1866. This three-view-mashup of the moon included a super moon, a blue moon, and a lunar eclipse.

                                      *Blood moons occur after the peak of the eclipse has passed, while the moon sits completely behind Earth's shadow. (courtesy of

“Supermoons” occur when a full moon is at its closest point to the Earth, making it appear bigger in the sky. According to, these moons can appear up to “15% brighter and 30% bigger than a regular full moon."

A “blue moon” is a term donned to the second full moon in a month, and these blue moons usually only occur every 2.5 years as reported by

A “blood moon” occurs after a total lunar eclipse has elapsed, and its reddish tint is a reflection of red light from the sun as it passes through Earth’s atmosphere. This occurs after the moon is completely covered by Earth’s shadow, the complete shadowing called the “umbra.”

             *As the moon moves into the Umbra, or shadow created by the sun and Earth, a red tint appears and will only fade away when the moon moves out of the umbra (courtesy of 

Between this trio of lunar wonders, the moon looked extra bright and provided the perfect opportunity for stargazers and space lovers everywhere to break out their telescopes. If you missed it, don’t worry! The next lunar eclipse visible from North and South America will occur on January 21, 2019, so mark your calendars!


*Thumbnail courtesy of

About The Author

Erin Niemi is a sophomore at California Lutheran University and is currently studying Journalism as well as Political Science.