A once-in-a-lifetime astronomical phenomenon occurred Wednesday, though those of us on Shelter Island didn’t get to see the full effect.
A blue moon, a super moon and a lunar eclipse took place in North America Wednesday morning, though the East Coast only saw a partial eclipse.
Individually, the lunar events are commonplace. However, they haven’t happened at the same time in the United States in 150 years. (It did occur on December 30, 1982, but only those in the Eastern Hemisphere could see it).
The celestial event began when the full moon rose on Tuesday night, looking a little larger and a little brighter than a typical full moon, according to Brian Lada, a meteorologist with AccuWeather. This is what’s known as a super moon. Those of us on the East Coast only saw a partial lunar eclipse.
Since this is the second full moon in the calendar month, the moon is also referred to as a blue moon — which has nothing to do with color, by the way. This happens once every two and a half years, Mr. Lada said.
Around 5:50 a.m. on Wednesday, the color of the moon began to change. By 6:50 a.m., the partial eclipse began as the moon began to move into the shadow of the Earth.
The moon appeared white, but part of it was darker than usual.
“It’s not going to be turning red for you guys on Long Island,” Mr. Lada said, referring to the rusty, orange or dark, red color that gives a full lunar eclipse the name, blood moon.
Those in central and western portions of the country saw the full lunar eclipse.
However, East Enders can also view the eclipse online for free on NASA TV or NASA.tv/live.