Skywatch: The Moon is the "star" of the show this week

Skywatch: The Moon is the "star" of the show this week
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The moon has a lot going on this week and when skies clear it’ll be tough to miss. On Monday night the Waxing Gibbous Moon will shine close to a famous constellation and third sign in the zodiac.

The moon will hang just below Gemini, or the twins, in the southeastern sky in the evenings. Look for the two bright stars, Castor and Pollux the famed twins of Greek mythology.

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The Full Moon will arrive at 8:27 in the morning on Wednesday. Typically February’s full moon is known as the Full Snow Moon because of heavy snow that’s possible in February.

Because this Full Moon falls on the last day of January the month of February won’t actually have a full moon. And because this is the second full moon in the month of January it can be called a “Blue Moon”.

No, the moon won’t appear blue but when two full moons occur in a calendar month the second one is called a “Blue Moon”. These happen about once every 2.5 years so they’re not as rare as the saying, “Once in a Blue Moon” implies.

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This Full Moon is happening shortly after the point when the Moon is at its closest point in orbit around the Earth for the month. The Moon will be 223,068 miles away when it reaches perigee on Tuesday morning.

As a result, the Full Moon will look a little bigger and a little brighter and we’ll call it a supermoon. The next full supermoon will be in January of next year.

Courtesy: NASA
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And if this Full Moon wasn’t special enough it’s also coming with a total lunar eclipse. The moon will pass through the Earth’s shadow starting at 6:48 a.m. Wednesday morning.

Sadly, the Moon will set here before the start of the total eclipse but it will have an eerie reddish hue as we get closer to it. The total lunar eclipse starts at 7:52 a.m. reaching greatest eclipse at 8:30 a.m.

As I mentioned we won’t see the lunar eclipse here but click here for a link to the “Super Blue Blood Moon eclipse”. Happy hunting!