Lunar eclipses and supermoons happen relatively often.
However, both phenomena occuring simultaneously is very rare. But today a «Super blood blue moon» will grace our skies.
– This is a spectacular and unique event, says astrophysicist, Knut Jørgen Røed Ødegaard, urging people to see the lunar eclipse.
If you live in Norway, you have Europe's prime viewing point where you can watch the event unfold.
But there is no need to fret if you can't see the eclipse. NRK will be livestreaming the celestial event from the north of Norway, starting 14:15 local time (UTC+1).
What is it?
The event combines three unusual lunar events; a supermoon, a blue moon and a total lunar eclipse.
It's the first time all three of these phenomena will line up since 1866.
The moon will reach its full phase for the second time in the month of January, making it a blue moon. This only happens once every two to three years- hence the phrase «Once in a blue moon.»
Not only is this a full moon, but it is a supermoon as well, meaning it will be closer to the earth than usual. The moon's orbit around the earth is not perfectly circular. It is in fact, elliptical, which means that its distance from earth varies. Supermoons occur whenever a full moon makes its closest approach to earth in its elliptical orbit. A supermoon can appear up to 14 percent larger and brighter than the usual full moon.
And finally, all of this is coinciding with a total lunar eclipse, which is why this is also called a blood moon.
– During a total lunar eclipse, the earth lies directly between the sun and the moon, and a fantastic, red glow will appear. This will be an extraordinary experience, says Ødegaard.