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How to See the Super Blue Blood Moon from Columbia

By Matthew Whitehouse, Boeing Observatory Manager

A rare astronomical event is taking place this week. Have you already spotted a news story on the Super Blue Blood Moon? Or heard the terms “Blue Moon” and “Supermoon” in reference to this week’s event?

A Blue Moon is simply the second full Moon in a calendar month. We last had a full Moon on New Year’s Day, so this Wednesday’s full Moon is indeed a Blue Moon. A Supermoon is a full Moon that occurs when the Moon is near the closest point to Earth in its orbit. A Supermoon can sometimes appear slightly larger than a normal full Moon, though the effect is very subtle.


The Boeing Observatory will be open Tuesday, Jan. 30, until 8 p.m. to view the Super Blue Moon!

In addition to the Super Blue Moon, there will also be a lunar eclipse occurring early Wednesday morning. While our West Coast friends will see the full total lunar eclipse, in Columbia we will only be able to view a partial eclipse because the Moon sets around 7:20 a.m. which is before the lunar eclipse reaches totality.

If you are up early this Wednesday morning check out the western sky around 7:00 a.m. to see the partial lunar eclipse. You’ll notice that part of the Moon will be a distinct red color turning in into a ‘Blood Moon.’ Be sure to pick out a viewing spot away from tall trees and buildings as you’ll need a clear western horizon.

While we don’t get the best view of this particular lunar eclipse, don’t despair! On January 20, 2019, we’ll have an amazing total lunar eclipse visible from Columbia, with totality occurring right around midnight. In the meantime, let’s hope for clear skies on Wednesday morning.