What's this 'super blue blood moon'?

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 29) — There is so much hype and excitement over the so-called "super blue blood moon" happening this January 31.

So what is it all about?

This is actually composed of three, rare lunar phenomena occurring in one night – they are the supermoon, blue moon, and blood moon.

Here's what each one means:


A supermoon is when the moon becomes full on the same day it reaches its perigee – or the point the moon is closest to the Earth.

This makes the moon appear a lot bigger and brighter compared to a normal full moon.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said while the moon is closest to the Earth at 5:54 p.m. of January 30, the lunar event will extend until the 31st.

Blue moon

A blue moon is the second full moon of a calendar month, but here's how it is special: The moon completes its orbit around the Earth in 29.5 days.

It rarely happens that a calendar month, which has 30 or 31 days on average, will have two full moons. The last full moon was on January 2. Just add 29.5 days, and that's another full moon exactly on January 31.

Blood moon

Completing the so-called "lunar trifecta" is the blood moon, and here is where the color is a little relevant.

A total lunar eclipse is sometimes called a blood moon because of the reddish tinge the full moon takes on when its fully eclipsed.

A lunar eclipse is when the sun, Earth, and moon form a straight line - with the moon passing through the shadow of the Earth.

People can see the total lunar eclipse from 8:51 to 10:07 p.m. on January 31 with the naked eye.

So better make sure you get a peek at these rare lunar events.

The super blue blood moon was last observed in the Philippines on December 30, 1982. In the United States, the last one was seen in 1866.

Although all three phenomena are visible to the naked eye, the PAGASA said a view away from city lights will be better.

Those from Albay may see a redder moon on January 31, with dust particles adding to the color. 

But if a night away from the city is not an option on a Wednesday, here's a list of places where you can view the moon through a telescope:

1) PAGASA Observatory, University of the Philippines, Diliman

2) San Beda College, Manila

3) Rizal Park, Manila

4) SM North EDSA, Quezon City

5) Trinoma, Quezon City