Super Blue Blood Moon Eclipse: Viewing Tips from an Astronomer | Benedictine College

Super Blue Blood Moon Eclipse: Viewing Tips from an Astronomer

Published: Monday, January 29, 2018

Blood MoonDue to the limited and early-morning timing of the event, Benedictine College’s Daglen Observatory will not host a viewing of the “Super Blue Blood Moon Eclipse” on January 31. However, Dr. Ryan Maderak, Assistant Professor of Physics & Astronomy at Benedictine College, offers the following information on the eclipse and how best to view it.

First of all, what is a Super Blue Blood Moon Eclipse? According to Maderak, the short version is that there is a total lunar eclipse early Wednesday morning. Here are the various aspects of the name broken down into the important components:

  1. "Blood Moon" refers to the fact that the moon actually turns red during a total eclipse, due to refraction of red light by the Earth’s atmosphere.
  2. "Blue Moon" refers to the second full moon of a calendar month.
  3. "Super Moon" refers to a full moon occurring when the moon is unusually close to the Earth, and so appears larger and brighter.

“So, apparently the combination of these three things has not occurred in 150 years,” Maderak explained.

For those in NE Kansas and the surrounding areas, the partial phase of this eclipse begins at 5:48 a.m. on Wednesday morning, Jan. 31, and totality begins at 6:51 a.m. Sunrise is at 7:30 a.m., so the area will get about 40 minutes of totality. This means that the Moon will be SETTING during totality, so the best viewing will be from a location with an unobstructed view of the WESTERN HORIZON.

Very detailed information about the eclipse is available here:

Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas.  The school is proud to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report as well as one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide.  It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging.  It has a mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.