A total eclipse of a "Blue Moon" will occur on Jan. 31 — the first time this has happened since 1866.
The moon's phases are caused by changes in the amount of illumination from the moon that is visible from the Earth's surface as the moon orbits our planet each month. There are eight distinct phases every month, four of them occurring roughly a week apart. They are: the New Moon; Waxng Crescent; First Quarter (or half-full; Waxing Gibbous; Full Moon; Waning Gibbous; Last Quarter (half-full on other side); Waning Crescent. You can read definitions for these moon phases here. When the moon is full and at its closest point to the Earth in it's orbit, it is known as a "Supermoon." Lunar eclipses occur during full moons, when the moon passes through all or part of Earth's shadow. During New Moons, the moon can cover part or all of the sun's disk, creating a solar eclipse. Learn more about the moon's phases here.
Related Topics: The Moon
Skywatchers who intend to observe the "super" full moon tonight (Jan. 1) may find that Earth's lunar companion doesn't actually appear particularly "super."
The only supermoon of 2017 rose on Sunday, Dec. 3, and night sky photographers captured the big, bright satellite in all its lunar glory. Here are some of the best photos of the supermoon.
As the first and only supermoon of 2017 rose high into the sky this Sunday (Dec. 3), astrophotographers seized the opportunity to shoot the moon in all its bigger-than-usual glory.
December's Full Cold Moon rises tonight (Dec. 3), bringing the only "supermoon" of the year on its heels.
The astronomy broadcasting service Slooh will air a special "supermoon" webcast Sunday (Dec. 3), starting at 9 p.m. EST (0200 GMT on Monday, Dec. 4).
Here's how to make the most of this weekend's full moon — the largest and brightest supermoon of the year — with the help of mobile apps.
If you've got plans to celebrate this weekend's supermoon, the astronomy broadcasting service Slooh would like to hear about them.
Tonight (Nov. 5), the moon will temporarily hide the orange star Aldebaran, the brightest star in the constellation Taurus, in what astronomers call an occultation.
While a full moon doesn't have the dramatically shadowed terrain that partial phases do, some lunar features and phenomena are enhanced during full moons.
November's Full Beaver Moon will shine bright overnight tonight and early Saturday (Nov. 3 and 4), a day before the moon reaches perigee, its closest distance to Earth each month.
A tiny sliver of the waxing moon grows larger and brighter, slowly heating up as the moon's surface reflects more and more sunlight.
On Sunday, Oct. 15, the crescent moon will block the bright star Regulus in an occultation. But you'll have to wake up before sunrise to see it!
The International Space Station (ISS) crosses the face of the nearly full moon in a gorgeous composite image snapped by astrophotographer Alexander Krivenyshev.
September is usually the month of the Harvest Moon. We had a full moon on Sept. 6, but that did not qualify as a "harvest" full moon. Instead, we're going to have to wait until October.
The huge asteroid that cruised past Earth last week in a record-breaking flyby has two moons, radar images reveal.
Look up tonight (Sept. 6) to see the Full Corn Moon glowing in the sky. If you have binoculars or a telescope, you can also see the planet Neptune glowing faintly nearby.
In a subtle but stunning prelude to the Great American Total Solar Eclipse of Aug. 21, a partial lunar eclipse graced the night skies over Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia on Monday (Aug. 7).