January Brings a Super Blue Blood-Moon for North Dakota
If that article title is confusing, it basically means a Supermoon, a Blue Moon, and a total lunar eclipse will all take place in the same month.
Not all of the world will get to see all three, but North Dakota will have a visual on each of them. We've all gotten a taste of a Supermoon in early December, but in January 2018, we get all three of these spectacular occurrences.
A Blue Moon is not just the name of an adult beverage. It is when two full moons happen in the same calendar month. The first full moon will be on New Year's Day, January 1st at 8:24 p.m. The second will be on January 31st, as the moon will rise in Bismarck, ND at 6:13 p.m.
The Supermoon will take place the day before, on January 30th at about 3:58 a.m. The moon will appear about 14 percent larger than normal. It will also be 223,068 miles from Earth opposed to its average distance, 238,855 miles from Earth.
Then on January 31st, the lunar eclipse will happen. This happens when the moon passes through the Earth's shadow. At approximately 4:51 a.m., the penumbra, which is the lighter outer part of its shadow, will touch the moon. Between 5:48 a.m. and 6:16 a.m. the moon will enter the totality of the shadow and take on a blood-red color. The moon will set at approximately 7:03 a.m. that morning.
North Dakota skywatchers, be aware of these dates and times happening in January 2018. They certainly don't come around often.