2018 opened with a Wolf Moon lighting up the night sky, and as the first month of the new year comes to a close, we are greeted in a similar sylistic fashion with the rise of a Super Blue Blood Moon.

Blue moons occur once every 2-3 years, occasionally appearing twice in the same calendar year, as is the case with 2018 (March 31st, Coming to a Sky Near You). Wolf moons are a little rarer, traditionally occurring in January on the first night of the New Year. Oddly enough, this year it coincides with the Chinese Year of the Dog. Year of the wolf anyone? #HouseStark

January 1st’s Wolf Moon was also a supermoon, a label given when the moon’s closest to the Earth, appearing slightly brighter and larger than usual. But what makes this month’s lunar cycle significant is the appearance of a blue moon (a moon that appears twice in the same month), which also happens to be a supermoon, reaching its peak fullness on the night of the 31st of January. It will also feature a total lunar eclipse, turning the moon a shade of red for about an hour. If you happen to reside on the West Coast USA, Hawaii, or the Eastern side of Asia, you’ll be able to see observe this phenomenon as the eclipse occurs starting at 04:51am and finishing around 06:05am Pacific Standard Time.

Super Blue Blood Moon 2018

So why is this lunar cycle so special? Well the last time these exact events occurred were in 1866. In the United States, the American Civil War had concluded, ushering in the dawn of the Reconstruction Era. I wonder what observers back then thought of the blood moon, perhaps taking it as a omen, marking an end to half a decade of bloodshed. Maybe this Super Blue Blood Moon once again symbolizes the beginning of a new era, though I’ll leave that one for the historians.

2018’s proven to be a historic year as far as astronomy is concerned with plenty more to come. And be sure not to miss this Super Blue Blood Moon, though if you do, luckily you’ll only have to wait another 10 years for the next one.

If you’re as excited as I am about these bizarre phenomenons on the sky, feel free to leave a comment! After all, how often do you find such great lessons on lunar cycles? Once in a blue moon perhaps… okay I’m done.