First 'Blue Moon' total eclipse in 150 years to occur this month

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Because we already experienced a full moon on January 1, the second will be a blue moon. But just seeing the full moon in the sky isn't enough for most of us to notice that it's different.

The first full moon for this year happened last January 2, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said.

Some people including Nasa are referring to it as a super blue blood moon, and whatever you call it, it will make for a lovely, odd night.

January 31's full moon just squeezes into the same month, turning it "blue". But before that spacecraft takes off, China needs to send a communications satellite to hang out above the far side of the Moon and pass signals back to Earth, which could happen as early as June. The last day of January will see the third supermoon in the sequence. This year, however, will see two occurrences of two full moons in a month, with the second blue moon occurring on 31 March.

But know that these names can make an event like this sound more dramatic than it appears - it won't be anything like the total solar eclipse of 2017.

The moon is called supermoon when it is visible full and is at at near its closest point in its orbit around Earth.

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This year's blue moon total lunar eclipse event is the first in more than 150 years.

The maximum phase of the total lunar eclipse will happen at around 8.37 am EST, or 1.37 pm GMT, according to the Royal Observatory Greenwich.

A "blue" moon has nothing to do with color.

Could this also be the year that commercial moon missions, with help from NASA, finally get off the ground?

PAGASA said lunar eclipses are safe to watch and observers need not use any kind of protective filters for the eyes. The partial eclipse begins 11:48 Universal Time (UT), and the total eclipse begins at 12:52 UT and reaches it's maximum at 13:30 UT.

"Often cast in a reddish hue because of the way the atmosphere bends the light, totally eclipsed Moons are sometimes called 'blood moons'".

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