Total lunar eclipse worth waiting up for

If that doesn't excite you, then maybe the fact that NASA is calling it a "Super Blue Blood Moon" will. There's no separate full, super, blue, blood, snow or anything else moon.

The moon may appear nightly, but not usually like Tuesday night.

"Weather permitting, the West Coast, Alaska and Hawaii will have a spectacular view of totality from start to finish", said Gordon Johnston, a lunar expert at NASA. Mainly because it's best viewed as it descends from the night's sky.

According to NASA, the event is a "Super Blue Blood Moon", as it will happen near when the moon is at its closest point to Earth, a so-called "supermoon". These fine particles can scatter blue light and make the moon appear blue. McDowell said they happen at least once a year.

SNOW: That's just one of the Native American nicknames for the second full moon of the year.

"The moon will be passing through perigee: that's when it's closest to the Earth in its orbit", says Jackson. The moon will set for the eastern US before all the lunar eclipse action happens. It will have a red coloring to it when the lunar eclipse is occurring. A blue moon happens on average just under every three years.

"These three lunar events separately are not uncommon, but it is rare for all three to occur at the same time", said AccuWeather meteorologist and astronomy blogger Brian Lada.

Skies should be clear Wednesday morning, allowing for optimal sky conditions, but Central Texans may run into a problem when viewing the eclipse: time of day.

NASA will air a live feed of the total lunar eclipse starting at 5:30 a.m. ET on January 31, showing off the lunar body as it dips into Earth's shadow.

A red moon is a lunar eclipse where the moon, sun and earth all align.

A blue moon is not really blue. Maximum eclipse occurs at 6:29 a.m. and the lunar eclipse ends at 7:07 a.m. local time, with the moon setting 7 minutes later. The light filtering through the Earth's atmosphere reflects on the moon, giving it a reddish hue.

The moon will dip into Earth's shadow starting at 5:51 a.m. ET, but it won't exactly be noticeable until about 6:48 a.m. ET, when the moon enters the deeper part of the Earth's shadow.

  • Joey Payne