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Three lunar events to collide early Wednesday morning

Posted at 12:29 PM, Jan 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-30 13:31:12-05

MILWAUKEE -- Set your alarm early Wednesday morning for a rare cosmic event --a blue moon, a supermoon, and a total lunar eclipse, all rolled into one.

Paul Borchardt with the  Milwaukee Astronomical Society said it's something we'll never see again in our lifetime.

"It's a rarity. It's something we'll never see again in our lifetime," said Borchardt.

A blue moon is the second full moon in a month.  January's first full moon happened on the January 1. A supermoon is a full moon at its closest point to Earth in its orbit.  It looks bigger and brighter in the sky.

"Go out after sunset tonight. If it's clear, watch the full moon come up. That will be your super moon and blue moon. You get 2 out of 3 immediately," said Borchardt. 

The total lunar eclipse is when the moon is completely bathed in the earth's shadow.

"The eclipse is the most exciting to us of the events.  That's where the moon gets into the shadow of the earth causing it to turn blood red during totality," said Borchardt. 

Wednesday's Super Blue Blood Moon will be visible before dawn to people on the West Coast of the United States and most everywhere around the Pacific Rim. As long as it isn't a cloudy morning.

"Here in Wisconsin we will only pick up the partial phase where the moon is going into the shadow and it's partially eclipsed," said Borchardt. 

Borchardt said the last time the triple sky phenomenon of a blue moon, a supermoon and a blood moon happened on the same day was in the 1800's.

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