Morning eclipse and a rising supermoon on January 31

Image: MGN

On Wednesday, January 31, 2018, our viewing area gets a double dose of lunar viewing: a lunar eclipse in the morning, followed by a rising supermoon that same evening.

In Western NC and the Upstate, viewers can see a penumbral eclipse on the morning of the 31st, with changes starting at 5:51 a.m. (Don't expect this part to be particularly exciting. A penumbral eclipse happens when the moon passes through the Earth's penumbra, causing only a very subtle darkening of the moon.)

The more dramatic partial eclipse of the moon starts at 6:48 a.m., and reaches its maximum at 7:26 a.m. before the moon sets, slipping below the horizon around 7:30 a.m. To view the lunar eclipse, just pick a spot with a clear view of the western horizon.

And there's more: You can also view the rising supermoon, no longer eclipsed but still big and beautiful, when it rises again at 6:21 p.m. Wednesday evening.

To view the rising supermoon, pick out a spot with a clear view of the eastern horizon, and watch as close to moonrise as you can to enjoy the dramatic effect of the "moon illusion," the optical illusion that makes the moon appear bigger on the horizon than it does higher in the sky.

If you take photos, share them with us here!

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