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First Super Blue Blood Moon Since 1866 Will Appear Early Wednesday

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Geert Vanden Wijngaert
/
Associated Press
Earth's shadow obscures the view of a so-called supermoon during another total lunar eclipse — this one in Brussels in 2015.";

Wednesday brings with it a rare lunar trifecta: a super blue blood moon.

Florida State College at Jacksonville astronomy professor Mike Reynolds says a blue moon is a second full moon that happens in a single calendar month.  The last one occurred in July 2015.

“They’re pretty rare. They don’t turn blue but they call it a blue moon. It’s one of those names that kind of stuck, ‘once in a blue moon.’  Once in a blue moon is about once every two-and-a-half years.”

A supermoon happens when the moon’s orbit brings a full moon closer to earth than usual. That will make this blue moon look much larger and brighter.

Plus, a total lunar eclipse very early Wednesday morning will make the moon appear blood-red, although folks on the First Coast will only see a partial eclipse that will occur just before dawn.

The last time there was a super blue blood moon was in 1866.

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Credit NASA
Global map showing areas of the world that will experience (weather permitting) the Jan. 31, 2018, super blue blood moon. The eclipse will be visible before sunrise on Jan. 31 for those in North America, Alaska and Hawaii. For those in the Middle East, Asia, eastern Russia, Australia and New Zealand, the "super blue blood moon" can be seen during moonrise the evening of the 31st.

Contact reporter Cyd Hoskinson at choskinson@wjct.org, 904-358-6351 and on Twitter @cydwjctnews.