Wednesday, January 24, 2018

First 2018 Eclipse Is Blue Moon Total Lunar Eclipse Wednesday, Jan. 31


Summary: The first 2018 eclipse is the blue moon total lunar eclipse Wednesday, Jan. 31, happening during January’s second full moon, known as a blue moon.


graphics and details of blue moon total lunar eclipse Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018: Fred Espenak/NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, via NASA Eclipse Web Site

The first 2018 eclipse is a blue moon total lunar eclipse Wednesday, Jan. 31, that happens during January’s second full moon, known as a blue moon.
The blue moon lunar eclipse of Wednesday, Jan. 31, begins at 10:51:15 Coordinated Universal Time (12:51:15 a.m. Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time) with the instant of first exterior contact between the moon and Earth’s penumbra, the lighter, outer region of Earth’s shadow. The event ends at 16:08:27 UTC (6:08:27 a.m. HAST) with the instant of last exterior contact between moon and Earth’s penumbra. The blue moon lunar eclipse lasts for 5 hours 17 minutes 12 seconds.
The partial phase of the blue moon total lunar eclipse Wednesday, Jan. 31, begins at 11:48:27 UTC (1:48:27 a.m. HAST) with the instant of first exterior contact between the moon and Earth’s umbra, the darker, inner region of Earth’s shadow. Partiality ends at 15:11:11 UTC (5:11:11 a.m. HAST) with the instant of last exterior contact between the moon and Earth’s umbra. Partiality’s time span is 3 hours 22 minutes 44 seconds.
The total phase of the blue moon total lunar eclipse Wednesday, Jan. 31, begins at 12:51:47 UTC (2:51:47 a.m. HAST) with the instant of first interior contact between the moon and Earth’s umbra. Totality ends at 14:07:51 UTC (4:07:51 a.m. HAST) with the instant of last interior contact between the moon and Earth’s umbra. Totality’s time span is 1 hour 16 minutes 4 seconds.
For lunar eclipses, greatest eclipse references the instant of the moon’s closest passage to the axis of Earth’s shadow. The greatest eclipse for the blue moon total lunar eclipse Wednesday, Jan. 31, takes place at 13:29:51 UTC (3:29:51 a.m. HAST). Retired NASA astrophysicist Fred Espenak's EclipseWise web site places the greatest eclipse's occurrence over the South Pacific Ocean, about 1,800 miles (2,900 kilometers) west of the Hawaiian Islands.
The blue moon total lunar eclipse Wednesday, Jan. 31, centers on the Pacific Ocean. Oceanically, entire eclipse visibility also favors the Arctic Ocean. Continentally, eclipse visibility from beginning to end favors central and eastern Asia, most of Australia and far northern North America.
In North America, Canada experiences entire eclipse visibility throughout Yukon Territory and in much of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. Most of British Columbia and the northwestern corner of Alberta also enjoy entire eclipse visibility. Entire eclipse visibility favors only two U.S. states: Alaska on the North American mainland and Hawaii in the Pacific Ocean.
Arctic Ocean and Pacific Ocean islands are favorably sited for entire eclipse visibility. Northern Greenland joins Canada’s, Norway’s and Russia’s Arctic islands in the entire eclipse experience. In Maritime Southeast Asia, all of New Guinea and the Philippines and much of Borneo participate in entire eclipse visibility. Other Pacific island nations favored by entire eclipse visibility include Japan, New Zealand and Samoa.
Oceanic areas with no eclipse visibility at all include most of the Atlantic Ocean and the Southern Ocean. Continentally, most of the continents of Africa, Antarctica, Europe and South America are excluded for eclipse visibility.
The blue moon total lunar eclipse Wednesday, Jan. 31, opens the 2018 eclipse quintet of two total lunar eclipses and three partial solar eclipses. The year’s second total lunar eclipse happens Friday, July 27, and favors the Indian Ocean and adjacent continents.
The year’s first partial solar eclipse succeeds 2018’s first total lunar eclipse. The first partial solar eclipse takes place Thursday, Feb. 15, as a Southern Hemisphere event favoring Antarctica and southern South America. The year’s second partial solar eclipse happens Friday, July 13, as a Southern Hemisphere event favoring the Southern Ocean and southeastern Australia.
The year’s third partial solar eclipse follows 2018’s second total lunar eclipse and also closes the year’s eclipse lineup. The third partial solar eclipse occurs Saturday, Aug. 11, as a Northern Hemisphere event especially favoring the Arctic Circle.
As the first 2018 eclipse, the blue moon total lunar eclipse Wednesday, Jan. 31, stands out as an eclipse favoring both Southern and Northern Hemispheres and especially as a lunar eclipse coinciding with a blue moon.

Earth as viewed from the center of the moon during Jan. 31, 2018’s blue moon total lunar eclipse’s greatest eclipse: Tom Ruen (SockPuppetForTomruen at English Wikipedia), Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Acknowledgment
My special thanks to:
Talented artists and photographers/concerned organizations who make their fine images available on the Internet;
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University for superior on-campus and on-line resources.
Image credits:
graphics and details of blue moon total lunar eclipse Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018: Fred Espenak/NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, via NASA Eclipse Web Site @ https://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/LEplot/LEplot2001/LE2018Jan31T.pdf
Earth as viewed from the center of the moon during Jan. 31, 2018’s blue moon total lunar eclipse’s greatest eclipse: Tom Ruen (SockPuppetForTomruen at English Wikipedia), Public Domain, via Wikimedia Commons @ https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lunar_eclipse_from_moon-2018Jan31.png

For further information:
Emspak, Jesse. “Lunar Eclipse 2018 Guide: When, Where & How to See It.” Space.com. Skywatching. Dec. 31, 2017.
Available @ https://www.space.com/33786-lunar-eclipse-guide.html
Espenak, Fred. “Glossary of Solar Eclipse Terms.” NASA Eclipse Web Site.
Available @ https://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/help/SEglossary.html
Espenak, Fred. “Key to Lunar Eclipse Global Maps.” NASA Eclipse Web Site > Lunar Eclipses.
Available @ https://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/LEhistory/LEplotkey.html
Espenak, Fred. “Total Lunar Eclipse of 2018 Jan 31.” EclipseWise > Lunar Eclipses > Lunar Eclipses 2001-2100.
Available @ http://eclipsewise.com/lunar/LEprime/2001-2100/LE2018Jan31Tprime.html
Espenak, Fred. “Total Lunar Eclipse of 2018 Jan 31.” NASA Eclipse Web Site > Lunar Eclipses > Lunar Eclipses: 2011-2020.
Available @ https://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/LEplot/LEplot2001/LE2018Jan31T.pdf
Espenak, Fred. “Total Lunar Eclipse of January 31.” EclipseWise > Lunar Eclipses > Eclipses During 2018.
Available @ https://www.eclipsewise.com/oh/ec2018.html
“January 31, 2018 -- Total Lunar Eclipse.” TimeAndDate > Sun & Moon > Eclipses.
Available @ https://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/lunar/2018-january-31
Marriner, Derdriu. “Blue Moon Month January 2018 Opens New Year With Two Full Moons.” Earth and Space News. Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2017.
Available @ https://earth-and-space-news.blogspot.com/2017/12/blue-moon-month-january-2018-opens-new.html
Marriner, Derdriu. “Crater Timings for Jan. 31, 2018, Total Lunar Eclipse Show Umbral Span.” Earth and Space News. Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018.
Available @ https://earth-and-space-news.blogspot.com/2018/01/crater-timings-for-jan-31-2018-total.html
Marriner, Derdriu. “Jan. 31, 2018, Blue Moon Total Lunar Eclipse Belongs to Saros Cycle 124.” Earth and Space News. Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018.
Available @ https://earth-and-space-news.blogspot.com/2018/01/jan-31-2018-blue-moon-total-lunar.html
McClure, Bruce. “Super Blue Moon Eclipse on January 31.” EarthSky > Tonight. Jan. 30, 2018.
Available @ http://earthsky.org/?p=270280
Rao, Joe. “First Blue Moon Total Lunar Eclipse in 150 Years Coming This Month.” Space.com. Skywatching. Jan. 1, 2018.
Available @ https://www.space.com/39241-first-blue-moon-total-eclipse-150-years.html
Walker, John. “2018 Jan 31 13:29 UTC.” Fourmilab > Earth and Moon Viewer.
Available @ http://www.fourmilab.ch/cgi-bin/Earth

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