Originally Published: January 29, 2018 6 a.m.
Ready for a triple treat? How about a Supermoon, a Blue Moon and a total lunar eclipse?
With the added bonus of the Supermoon, this will be the first Blue Moon total eclipse in the U.S. since 1866! And to make it even more thrilling, this lunar eclipse is often called a Blood Moon!
Dear Readers, go outside into the dark night (happening on Jan. 31) and look up. You will be given a rare glimpse of nighttime splendor.
Feeling a bit like a lunatic these days? Oops, excuse me, I meant to say “lunar-tic.” You know, the old “full moon” saga that seems to have weird effects on all living creatures. Rumor, myth, legend, folklore and even factual evidence seems to support that a full moon, and especially a Blue Moon, causes “strange things” to happen.
So what is actually going on in the sky? Supermoons are when the moon appears 14 percent larger and about 30 percent brighter than usual as it is closer to Earth. A Blue Moon is a rare occurrence when two full moons fall within the same calendar month. On Jan. 31, the Blue Moon will pass Earth’s shadow creating a total eclipse, then turning a reddish hue meaning it is also a Blood Moon. Once in a lifetime we might be treated to such celestial wonders.
Getting back down to Earth, and all manner of “strangeness,” check out the wildlife during our “moon event.” There seems to be more reports of animal bites during a full moon than any other time of the month.
It is reported that dogs, cats, horses and coyotes are a bit more edgy during a full moon. Hospitals claim there are more emergency room visits during a full moon and law enforcement has reported more bizarre behaviors, mental breakdowns, crimes and bar fights.
Pregnant women believe they will deliver during the full moon, when fertility experts claim that women will conceive more readily due to “lunar lust.” Are we to believe this?
Since this “triple treat” is coming, there are people all over the world planning “sighting parties, romantic dinners, celebratory gatherings and even cooking classes. Something about a Supermoon, a glass of wine and making a delicious dinner to then eat on the veranda while gazing up at a big red-hued ball that does seem very exciting. Of course, I don’t have a veranda. And I tend to be sleeping by 10 at night. Better set our alarm clocks, because the “show” will be coming our way after midnight.
There are countdown parties, with computer programs that allow us to track the hours, minutes and seconds until we are able to thrill to the Super Blue Moon Eclipse.
A January full moon is also called the Wolf Moon or Snow Moon. Guess it doesn’t matter what we call it — what matters is that we see it. This once in a lifetime event, a few hours of awe, a shift in the universe and a star gazer’s dream awaits us.
Grab the telescope (not really necessary), the camera (don’t use the flash), find a dark place (stay safe) and look up to the heavens and enjoy the spectacle.
Judy Bluhm is a writer and a local Realtor. Have a story or a comment? Email Judy at firstname.lastname@example.org.