Lunar trifecta: Super Blue Blood Moon expected on Wednesday

NASA is calling the unusual occurrence of three moon events a "lunar trifecta."

Early on Wednesday morning, Jan. 31, there is going to be a Super Blue Blood Moon, according to NASA.

This is being called the lunar trifecta because it is a third in a series of supermoons, when the moon is 14 percent brighter than normal, it is the second full moon of the month, which is known as the blue moon and it will pass through the earth's shadow, giving West Michigan viewers a total lunar eclipse.

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In Grand Rapids, the partial eclipse starts at 6:48 a.m. and the maximal eclipse will be visible at 7:55 a.m. The moon will be near the horizon at this time, so it will be easiest to see the eclipse from a high point and facing northwest.

The eclipse is what will make the moon appear red.


According to the Detroit Free Press, a lunar eclipse -- unlike a solar eclipse -- is safe to look at with the naked eye.

How rare is the event? According to USA Today, Even without the supermoon, it's the first blue moon total lunar eclipse in the U.S. since March 1866, less than a year after the Civil War ended, according to

The next total lunar eclipse is not expected in Michigan until May 2022. But the next super blue blood moon won't happen again for another 19 years.

The Detroit Free Press contributed to this reporting.

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