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Super blue blood Moon - latest updates as it happened: Lunar eclipse sweeps across the world

Andrew Griffin
Tuesday 30 January 2018 22:45
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What is the super blue blood moon?

The super blue blood moon has arrived.

Australia got the first glimpse of the full event, as it spread across the world. Much of Asia and America also got a look – though the UK, Europe and Africa missed out on seeing the blood moon, or lunar eclipse.

They will, however, get to see the supermoon. And as well as being much bigger and brighter than normal it will also be second full moon of the month, making it a blue moon.

Taken together, that's a series of celestial events that haven't been seen for decades.

Here's all the latest updates as the sight makes its way around the world, and as all the best pictures, videos and live streams start to arrive.

Please allow a moment for the liveblog to load

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Getting ready to take some pictures? Here's how to make sure they're the best they can be.

Andrew Griffin30 January 2018 11:46
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Here's a contrarian, but interesting, take from Wired. We shouldn't be talking about the blue moon, supermoon or blood moon, it claims.That's because the blue moon isn't something you can see. The blood moon is a somewhat dramatic name for a lunar eclipse, which already has its own scientific term. And supermoons come round so often that they're not all that interesting.Which is all true. But tonight's moon will look very nice. And just that fact is enough to get people engaged with astronomy and the movement of our neighbours, which is important. That's why important space agencies including Nasa are getting involved in tonight's goings on, even if they don't actually tell us all that much about astronomy or the moon.That, to be fair, is something of the conclusion that Wired comes to:"It’s going to be great, I can assure you. It’s an eclipse, for heaven’s sake, regardless of the semantics. And it almost certainly won’t be the end of the world."

Andrew Griffin30 January 2018 11:47
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And to illustrate that kind of thinking, here's Indy100's report on the people who think tonight's moon is a sign that the world is going to end.It's not. You can hold me to that when we're together in hell for ever having doubted the prophecies of the Daily Star.

Andrew Griffin30 January 2018 11:51
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Here's one of the relevant quotes, from Acts:"The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord."Which is nice and fair enough. But there's plenty of lunar eclipses before – although we didn't always call them blood moons – and as far as we know the great and glorious day of the Lord hasn't arrived yet. Of course, the attention-seeking drones that get reported by cynical papers each time something like this happens might be right this time around. But I bet you they won't be.

Andrew Griffin30 January 2018 11:52
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If you're wondering whether you'll get to see any of the lunar eclipse, or blood moon, then Nasa provides this handy map. As you can see, the best places to be are the west of the US or the east of Asia, though some of it will be visible elsewhere.

Andrew Griffin30 January 2018 11:59
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The lunar eclipse begins tomorrow at roughly midday London time. (Though of course it won't be visible there.) That's 11pm in Sydney, where it will be visible, or 3am in Alaska, where you'll also be able to see it.

The easiest and quickest way to work it out is to think about what your time zone is – plus or minus a certain number of hours – and add or subtract that from midday. So if you're in New York, for instance, where you're five hours behind GMT, then it will arrive at 7am.

Andrew Griffin30 January 2018 12:08
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Andrew Griffin30 January 2018 13:38
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There's a lovely little thread from Katie Mack, the astrophysicist, here. People (including your intrepid liveblogger) sometimes wonder whether these things are a little overhyped. But as Mack points out, it's a little hard to overhype what's going on out there.

Andrew Griffin30 January 2018 16:28
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Nasa has confirmed it'll be live-streaming tomorrow's goings on – so, weather permitting, you'll get a chance to see the super blue blood moon wherever you are. You can head to Nasa's live page to see that, or take a look on The Independent's Facebook page.

Andrew Griffin30 January 2018 17:05
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It isn't all red moons and big moons tomorrow – it's some moon science, too. It's going to give scientists a chance to learn what happens to the moon's surface when it cools quickly. By using that information, they'll be Abel to learn more about the "regolith", or the collection of soil and loose rocks that are on the surface.

“During a lunar eclipse, the temperature swing is so dramatic that it’s as if the surface of the Moon goes from being in an oven to being in a freezer in just a few hours,” said Noah Petro, deputy project scientist for NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO, at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

That quick cooling means we'll get to see some features of the moon that normally we wouldn't get a look at.

“The whole character of the Moon changes when we observe with a thermal camera during an eclipse,” said Paul Hayne of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at the University of Colorado Boulder. “In the dark, many familiar craters and other features can’t be seen, and the normally non-descript areas around some craters start to 'glow,' because the rocks there are still warm.”

Andrew Griffin30 January 2018 23:08

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