Super, Blue, Blood Moon 2018-01-31

The second full moon of the month is now popularly called a “Blue Moon” (never mind that it got the name through an error – that’s what its now called). On January 1st 2018 we had a full moon (below) and another full moon on January 31st.

Super Moon 2018-01-01

Super Moon 2018-01-01

On January 31st, the moon was again full, marking the second full moon of the month. The full moon actually occurred at about 8:28am EST on the morning of January 31st as it was setting in the western sky. So perhaps a few people missed it by going out later that evening to watch the waning full moon rise in the east. The photo below was taken on January 31st at 00:49 EDT when the moon was transiting and about 7hrs before full. Note that the rotation of the January 1st full moon image is different than the January 31st moon. This is because the photographs were taken using an alt-azimuth mount so the camera is always parallel to the horizon.

Blue Moon 2018-01-31 00:49 EST

A Blue Moon 2018-01-31 00:49 EST

The full moon was also considered a “Super Moon” because it was near perihelion at that time. The angular size was 33.7arc-sec  with the largest angular diameter being 34.1″.

Later that morning as the moon was setting in Ottawa, the moon was eclipsed by the Earth. The penumbra started at about 5:52am EST and umbra started at about 6:50am EST. Unfortunately, the moon also set in Ottawa at about 7:26am EST so by the time the umbra appeared, the moon was only 4deg above the horizon. The western sky also had a layer of clouds that obscured the view so only the penumbra was more or less visible. The photo below was taken at 6:42am EST – about 20 min into the penumbra and about 10min before the umbra shadow would be seen.

Penumbra Lunar Eclipse 2018-01-31 06:42am EST

Penumbra Lunar Eclipse 2018-01-31 06:42am EST

The moon sank into the clouds as the umbra started to cross the moon. So 9 minutes into the full eclipse the moon was hiding behind the hazy clouds on the western horizon.

Penumbra Lunar Eclipse 2018-01-31 06:59am EST

Penumbra Lunar Eclipse 2018-01-31 06:59am EST

The full eclipse would occur at full moon – 8:28am EST – well after the moon set in Ottawa.