Super blue blood moon: What to know about the rare celestial event next week

KELLY MCCARTHY
 
 
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Next week, skywatchers will be able to glimpse a rare phenomenon: a super blue blood moon.

The event may sound like a complicated tongue twister, but it's really just the confluence of three celestial occurrences.

 
PHOTO: An airplane crosses in front of the moon, a supermoon, in Avondale Estates, Georgia, Dec.3, 2017. (Erik S. Lesser/EPA)

Expert tips on how to watch, photograph Wednesday's super blue blood moon

After the full moon on New Year’s Day, another is scheduled to light up the night sky on Wednesday, Jan. 31. This is considered a blue moon because it is the second full moon of a month. A super moon is when the full moon appears larger and brighter to the naked eye.

 
PHOTO: Seen from Downing Street, the moon rises behind the London Eye, Dec. 01, 2017 in London. (Paul Davey/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

These two events will also coincide with a total lunar eclipse, or blood moon, on Wednesday, Jan. 31.

 
PHOTO: A supermoon rises in front of a replica of the Statue of Liberty sitting atop the Liberty Building in downtown Buffalo, N.Y., Dec. 3, 2017. (Julio Cortez/AP)

Most days the moon is nearly 238,855 miles from Earth, but during the super moon it will be approximately 223,068 miles away, according to NASA. During a super moon, the moon can appear up to 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than usual.

A total lunar eclipse occurs when a full moon passes into Earth's shadow, making the moon appear red -- hence the nickname blood moon.

Altogether, the three events -- a blue moon, a super moon and a blood moon -- will make for a spectacular show the last night of January.

 
PHOTO: The moon rises behind the Uppatasanti Pagoda seen in Naypyitaw, Myanmar, Dec. 3, 2017. (Aung Shine Oo/AP)

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