A rare ‘super blue blood moon’ will be coming into view on Wednesday night, but the UK is set to miss out on seeing it.
Western North America, Asia, the Middle East, Russia and Australia will be getting the best view.
The rare event only happens when a trifecta of rare lunar events all come together, and has not been seen in some parts of the world for over 150 years.
A blue moon is the second full moon in one calendar, a super moon is when the moon’s rotation around the Earth brings it closer to our planet making it appear 14% larger, and a blood moon happens when a lunar eclipse has the moon entirely hidden from the sun by the earth’s shadow.
The last Blue Moon occurred on July 31, 2015, and the next will be seen on March 31 this year.
There hasn’t been a triple lineup like this since 1982, and the next won’t occur until 2037.
Some areas of the world haven’t seen it since 1866 and those in the British Isles will have to wait even longer.
Dr Gregory Brown, an astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich, said the moon will rise at about 5pm on the 31st and will remain in the sky until 8am the following morning.
He said: ‘It will be high in the sky from about 7pm and will be at its highest, and thus best, time at around 12.40am.
‘This coming full moon is unusual in that it is the second full moon of the month, when typically there is only one full moon per calendar month.
‘Also, the full moon will be slightly larger than normal given that this is also a supermoon, so astrophotography will be more spectacular than normal.’
But those expecting to see a lunar eclipse will be disappointed as Dr Brown says it will ‘definitely not be visible from the UK, not even a partial eclipse’.
The eclipse will be visible best in the western half of the US and Canada before the moon sets early Wednesday, and across the Pacific into Asia as the moon rises Wednesday night.
Nasa has said it will be ‘extra special’ for those in the US and other parts of the world such as the Middle East, Asia, eastern Russia, Australia and New Zealand, where the Blue Moon will coincide with a total lunar eclipse.
Nasa said: ‘While the Moon is in the Earth’s shadow it will take on a reddish tint, known as a ‘blood moon’.
‘With the total eclipse, it’ll be a royal spectacle indeed: a ‘super blue blood’ Moon.’