TYLER, TX (KLTV) - People across the country will witness a celestial phenomena around 5 a.m. tomorrow morning. The last time the western hemisphere witnessed an event like this, Andrew Johnson was in the White House. Super blue blood moon, a term that combines three different celestial events.
KLTV spoke with Tyler Junior College Physics and Astronomy professor Doug Parsons to help explain.
"The super moon happens whenever the moon in its orbit around the Earth gets closer to the Earth," Parsons said.
Super moons appear 14-percent bigger and 30-percent brighter than a regular full moon. The next word in the term is the blue moon.
"The blue moon happens whenever a single calendar month has two full moons in it," Parsons said.
Then there is "blood moon," a relatively new expression.
"It's a term for when the moon goes into the Earth's shadow for a total lunar eclipse," Parsons said.
All three of these events combined is referred to as a super blue blood moon.
But why is a total lunar eclipse referred to as a blood moon?
"Sunlight from the sun bends around the Earth's atmosphere and coats the moon in a nice reddish glow," Parsons said. "Kinda like looking at all the sunrises and sunsets all at once."
The super blue blood moon will start Wednesday morning at 4:51 a.m. Around 5:48 a.m. we will see a partial eclipse of the moon.
Then at 6:51 a.m. the Earth will totally eclipse the moon, and the best time to see the eclipse is at 7:13 am. But make sure you set an alarm because the eclipse will not be visible after 7:16 am. And the best place to see the super blue blood moon?
"Try to get somewhere where there are fewer trees between you and the horizon and maybe where you can get a little bit of elevation," Parsons said.
While scientist are not sure when the next super blue blood moon will occur, the next total lunar eclipse that will be visible from North America will happen in January 2019.