The supermoon lunar eclipse on Jan. 31 is shaping up to be a spectacular spectacle as well as a boon for moon researchers, according to NASA moon scientist Noah Petro. The eclipse is really the most spectacular of the events, because those are the ones that are the most visually stunning.
Space.com caught up with Petro, deputy project scientist for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, about his advice for viewing the moon and to learn more about what he hopes to learn from the moon’s journey into Earth’s shadow, which happens to occur Jan. 31 at the same time as a supermoon and a Blue Moon.
The supermoon is wonderful because you get to see this slightly larger, brighter moon in the night sky, but it’s really the eclipse that’s going to obscure the supermoon the brightness will change to that beautiful rusty red color that people are accustomed to seeing during lunar eclipses. For instance, in the Pacific time zone the moon will be in totality completely covered in Earth’s dark shadow — between about 4:52 and 6:08 a.m., Petro said. For locations farther east, the moon will set before totality is visible.