Watching the super blue blood moon in NYC; won't get full effect

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The super blue blood moon (NASA)

An astronomical treat is coming on January 31, 2018—the so-called super blue blood moon. That means that a supermoon, a blue moon, and a blood moon will occur on the same day.

Sadly, the East Coast of the United States will miss out on the full effect of the trifecta. The best viewing will be in western North America.

"For the (continental) U.S., the viewing will be best in the West," Gordon Johnston, program executive and lunar blogger at NASA Headquarters in Washington, said. "Set your alarm early and go out and take a look."

The Moon appears about 14 percent brighter than usual when it is closer to Earth in its orbit, according to NASA. That is called a "supermoon." It will also be the second full moon of the month, a.k.a. a "blue moon." And finally, the Moon "will pass through Earth's shadow to give viewers in the right location a total lunar eclipse," NASA explained. "While the Moon is in the Earth's shadow it will take on a reddish tint, known as a 'blood moon.'"

For folks watching in New York, the Moon will enter the outer part of our shadow at 5:51 a.m. It won't be that noticeable.

%INLINE%"So your best opportunity if you live in the East is to head outside about 6:45 a.m. and get to a high place to watch the start of the eclipse—make sure you have a clear line of sight to the horizon in the west-northwest, opposite from where the Sun will rise," Johnston said.

Lucky folks in Alaska, Hawaii, Australia, and eastern Asia will get to see the lunar eclipse from start to finish if the weather cooperates.

"Most of what we can see without a telescope are points of light," Johnson said. "But the Moon is close enough that we can see it and the features on it, and notice what changes and what stays the same each night."

If you'd like to get your Moon geek on, download and print NASA's free Moon Observation Journal.

Also, NASA will post a live feed of the Moon, beginning at 5:30 a.m. EST on January 31, on NASA TV and