Investigating the World

Super Blue Blood Moon

Super Blue Blood Moon

(In North America, view before sunrise on the morning of January 31, 2018.)

Before my first sibling was born, I had an imaginary, adventuresome rabbit that lived in my pocket.  When I was six, my mother rescued a starving litter of cottontails, and we fed them formula and successfully raised one kit.  As a new teacher, I had a white rabbit that my students cared for, and it taught us life lessons in return.  Today my favorite rabbit is visible on the moon.  Some people see a person when they look at a full moon; I see a rabbit.  

Before sunrise on January 31, 2018, there will be an opportunity to see the rabbit bigger and brighter than it has been seen in  North America since March 31, 1866.  During this time there will be a conflux of three events ─ a super moon, a blue moon, and a blood moon.  A super moon occurs when the moon is full and within 10% of its perigee, the closest point of its elliptical orbit to Earth.  (Apogee is the opposite, or most distant point.)  The moon will be several thousands of miles closer to Earth on January 30, and it will appear 7% bigger than an average moon and 14% bigger than a micromoon or agogee moon.  The moon will still be a near super moon the next morning, January 31, when it will also be a blue moon and a blood moon.

The full moon visible at the end of this month is the second full moon of January, and this means that 2018 will have 13 full moons instead of the usual 12.  When two full moons occur in the same month, the second full moon is commonly referred to as a blue moon. I read that this happens about 40 months out of every 1,200 months. The idiom once in a blue moon refers to the uniqueness of this event, but it isn’t rare.  February 2018 will not have a full moon, so there will be another blue moon in March.

In the early morning hours of January 31, the sun, earth, and moon will line up so that the moon passes through Earth’s umbral shadow, resulting in a total lunar eclipse.  The shadow causes the moon to appear reddish in color, and this is called a blood moon.  My husband and I will be sitting on our roof deck at 6:00 am CST (Comfort Standard Time) on the morning of January 31 to observe the near super blue moon become a blood moon during the lunar eclipse.  We will stay warm by drinking my Moonlight Mocha. I’ve shared the recipe in this blog so you can try it, too.

Brain Refreshments

• The moon looks different in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. The moon in the Southern Hemisphere appears upside down to a visitor from the Northern Hemisphere and vice versa.

• Do you see a person in the moon?

• Do you see a rabbit in the moon?

Version 1

Version 2

• Moon rabbits have appeared in both Mesoamerican and Asian mythology.

• Lighter areas on the moon are highlands, or mountains..

• Dark areas are ancient volcanic lava flows called mares, or seas.

• Pareidolia is when a face or picture is seen where it does not exist. The human brain can “fill” information into things viewed based upon something in past
experiences.

• Lunar Eclipse Viewing in San Antonio, Texas
(Comfort is 45 miles north of San Antonio.)
4:51 am Penumbral Eclipse Begins
5:48 am Partial Eclipse begins
6:51 am Total Eclipse begins
7:21 am Maximal Eclipse visible in SA
7:24 am Moonset below horizon

To determine eclipse times where you live go to:

www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/in/usa

Free Notebook Foldable Download!

Cooking In the Kitchen with Dinah

This is one of my favorite hot drinks. It has accompanied us in thermoses to the Christmas in Comfort night parades and to Star Parties at my Academy. This is what we will be drinking during our moon gazing event on the morning of January 31, and we will be including some of the optional additions in our cups.

Moonlight Mocha

In a saucepan mix together and heat:
   3 cups of strong coffee (regular or decaf)
   2 pkts of hot cocoa mix
   2 cups of milk (I use almond milk.)
   2 T of vanilla extract
   4 T of dulce de leche (if available)

Optional Additions per Cup
• Splash of flavored coffee creamer
• Splash of *coffee or chocolate liqueur
• Miniature marshmallows

Mixture lasts several days in the refrigerator.

* Comfort, Texas, is home to many unique restaurants and stores, including Hill Country Distillers. Only native Texas ingredients, such as prickly pear cactus pads, are used in their distilled products. I love to use a tablespoon of their Texas Dulce Coffee Liqueur in my cup of Moonlight Mocha.

Neither Dinah Zike nor any of her companies, family members, or employees are compensated in any manner for mentioning businesses, locations, or products in this blog.

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7 thoughts on “Super Blue Blood Moon”

  • After 56 years in Education, I still love and adore Dinah! I sat on the floor, because of a huge crowd, the first time I saw her. My colleague and I were never the same after. We were like a “ loose cannon” when we returned to our school. We insisted that our principal get her to come to our school—and it happened! I’ve continued telling educators about her work ever since! I’m singing her praises at the Charter school where I am today! Thank you, Dinah!!!

  • Thank you for explaining the super blue blood moon in an easy-to-understand way! I look forward to sharing this info with my son tonight…and we will be up early tomorrow morning for an exciting start to our day!

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