The moon is providing a rare triple treat this week.
On Wednesday (31 January), much of the world will get to see not only a blue moon and a supermoon, but also a total lunar eclipse, all rolled into one.
There hasn’t been a triple lineup like this since 1982 and the next won’t occur until 2037.
The eclipse will be visible best in the western half of the U.S. and Canada before the moon sets early Wednesday morning, and across the Pacific into Asia as the moon rises Wednesday night into Thursday.
Dr. Noah Petro from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland says a blood moon is also a good opportunity for scientific investigation.
“It’s not only going to be changing color, but it’s also going to be changing temperature,” he explains.
“It’s going from the oven of being in direct sunlight into the Earth’s shadow, which is like going into the freezer.
And so, that dramatic temperature change can be measured by instruments either on the Earth or in orbiting spacecraft. And so, that temperature change tells us something about the particle sizes on the surface of the moon.”