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A trifecta in the sky above Long Island Wednesday

01/30/2018 4:59 PM |

A once-in-a-lifetime astronomical phenomenon will occur Wednesday, though those of us on Long Island won’t get to see the full effect. 

A blue moon, a super moon and a lunar eclipse will take place in North America Wednesday morning, though the East Coast will only be able to see a partial eclipse.

Individually, the lunar events are commonplace. However, they haven’t happened at the same time in the United States in 150 years. (It did occur on Dec. 30, 1982, but only those in the Eastern Hemisphere could see it).

The celestial event begins when the full moon rises on Tuesday night, looking a little larger and a little brighter than a typical full moon, according to Brian Lada, a meteorologist with AccuWeather. This is what’s known as a super moon.

Those of us on the East Coast will only see a partial lunar eclipse. Credit: AccuWeather

Since this is the second full moon in the calendar month, the moon is also referred to as a blue moon — which has nothing to do with color, by the way. This happens once every two and a half years, Mr. Lada said.

Around 5:50 a.m. on Wednesday, the color of the moon will begin to change. By 6:50 a.m., the partial eclipse will begin.

“There will be some shading on the moon as the moon begins to move into the shadow of the Earth,” Mr. Lada explained.

The moon will still appear white, but part of it will be darker than usual, he said.

“It’s not going to be turning red for you guys on Long Island,” he said, referring to the rusty, orange or dark, red color that gives a full lunar eclipse the name, blood moon.

Those in central and western portions of the country will see the full lunar eclipse.

However, East Enders can also view the eclipse online for free on NASA TV or NASA.tv/live.

Photo caption: We won’t quite get this on the East Coast, but the perigee full moon, or supermoon appears red on the autumn sky from the vicinity of Salgotarjan, located northeast of Budapest, Hungary, early on Sept. 28, 2015. (MTI via AP/Peter Komka)

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