SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - A rare view of the moon this week has astronomers and sky-watching enthusiasts excited.
A lunar eclipse is scheduled to take place Tuesday Jan 30 into Wednesday Jan 31.
As the entire moon passes through earth's shadow, South Mississippi should be able to view a partial lunar eclipse for about one hour on Wednesday morning, weather permitting.
"At first, the moon will look dark gray in color during the overnight hours," said WLOX First Alert Meteorologist Wesley Williams. "But, during the early morning hours on Wednesday the color will change to dark red as the moon sets."
In South Mississippi, expect the partial lunar eclipse to begin at about 5:48 A.M. Central Time on Wednesday.
As the moon sets in the morning sky, more and more of the moon will become redder and redder.
The moon finally sets at 6:49 A.M., hiding below the horizon just moments before it turns 100% red.
But, if weather permits, it should be a nice and rare view of a Blood Moon for us.
The moon's color change will be caused by the scattering of sunlight through Earth's atmosphere, the same effect that gives our sunrises their reddish hue.
And it's what leads some to call the event a "Blood Moon."
But, this is not your average blood moon. This blood moon will also be a supermoon because it's closer to earth: it will appear slightly larger and slightly brighter than a typical full moon. This will be the final supermoon in a series of three supermoons that have all occurred over the last two months.
And this super blood moon is an extra special occasion because it's blue too. But, that 'blue' is in name only and has nothing to do with its appearance.
The second full moon to occur in any calendar month is simply always called a blue moon, as found in folk lore.
So, there you have it: a blood moon, a super moon, and a blue moon all at once.
A triple treat for our January sky, as long as the weather cooperates.
Will there be clouds during this month's lunar eclipse? See the latest daily and hourly forecast for your location right now by simply opening your WLOX Weather App or by checking our Weather Page.