Global Geological And Climatic Events

Rare ‘super blood blue moon’ visible on Jan. 31

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Mains Paper 3: Science & Technology | Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Super blood blue moon, Supermoon, Lunar eclipse

Mains level: Solar and Lunar eclipses and their effects on Earth

Astronomical trifecta to appear on January 31

  1. A rare “super blood blue moon” may be glimpsed January 31 in parts of western North America, Asia, the Middle East, Russia and Australia
  2. It combines three unusual lunar events — an extra big super moon, a blue moon and a total lunar eclipse

Blue moon

  1. A blue moon refers to the second full moon in a month
  2. Typically, a blue moon happens every two years and eight months


  1. Supermoons happen when the moon is closest to Earth in its orbit
  2. This point, called the perigee, makes the moon appear 14% larger and 30% brighter
  3. Supermoons can happen four to six times a year

Lunar eclipse

  1. A lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes directly behind the Earth into its umbra
  2. This can occur only when the Sun, Earth, and Moon are aligned exactly, or very closely so, with the Earth in the middle
  3. Lunar eclipses occur at least twice a year
  4. Lunar eclipses during a supermoon happen regularly
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