What You Need To Know For Tonight's Astronomical Extravaganza

What is the Super Blue Blood Moon?

31 January 2018

Article heading image for What You Need To Know For Tonight's Astronomical Extravaganza

On Australia Day, most eyes were on the skies for fireworks around the state.

But tonight all eyes will be looking to the moon for a very special trifecta of lunar magic.

It's the Super Blue Blood Moon.

But what does it all mean? Well, here's a rundown.

The Blue Moon

This will be the second full moon to happen in the month. This is known as a blue moon.

If you know the phrase "once in a blue moon", this is where it originates from, because they're somewhat rare, occurring about once every 2.7 years.

The Supermoon

This is when you see the moon at its largest. Don't worry, it's not coming to hit us... but it's a lot closer to the Earth than usual.

While it won't be the closest the moon has been for a while (in fact it was much closer on January 2nd this year), it still comes into the category of a supermoon.

The experts tell us the closest full moon of this century will be on December 6th 2052. Lock that in your diary (not that we'll have diaries at that time...)

The Blood Moon

This is a Total Lunar Eclipse and will shade the moon a darkish-red colour.


There's a few things that will happen... so here are the important times to note.

Penumbral Eclipse Begins - 6:51pm

This is when the Earth's shadow falls on the moon, so you'll notice the moon being slightly darker because of the shadow

Because of the time zone, you won't really notice it as much until the sun has set.

Partial Lunar Eclipse begins - 7:48pm
This is when the Earth move between the sun and the moon. It's not a full eclipse at this point as the Earth, Moon and Sun won't be in a direct line.

Full Lunar Eclipse begins - 8:51pm 
This is when the Earth is smack bang inbetween the sun and the moon. This is the Blood Moon element - because the moon will turn a dark red.

Maximum Lunar Eclipse - 9:30pm

Total Eclipse Ends - 10:08pm

Partial Eclipse Ends - 11:10pm 

Penumbral Eclipse Ends - 12:08am


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