Triple treat, trifecta, or whatever you want to call it, people in the western US looking to the sky next week will get to see a rare lunar occurrence with a super blue blood moon.

So, what is a super blue blood moon? It's a supermoon, blue moon, and lunar eclipse all happening at the same time.

January 31 will be the third of three recent supermoons. This is also a blue moon as it is the second full moon of the month. The previous one was on January 1.

Plus, in the early morning hours, the Earth will pass between the sun and the moon creating a lunar eclipse, or as some call it, a blood moon because the moon appears reddish orange.

The best place to see the super blue blood moon will be on the west coast, but Western Colorado will also get an excellent view. For those of us in the mountain time zone, here's a timeline of what to expect.

  • 3:51 a.m. The Earth will begin to faintly shadow the moon as it enters the Earth's penumbra.
  • 4:48 a.m. The sun, Earth and moon come into alignment so that the Earth begins to shadow the moon as it enters Earth's umbra.
  • 5:51 a.m. The moon will be totally eclipsed by the Earth creating a 'blood red' shadow.
  • 7:07 a.m. The moon will start to emerge from the Earth's shadow in the western sky as the sun rises in the east.
  • 9:08 a.m. The moon will no longer be in the Earth's shadow ending the lunar eclipse.

Except for the lunar eclipse, the moon will seem bigger and brighter for a day or two leading up to and after the January 31 full moon adding even more excitement to this extremely rare event.

So, wish for clear skies, dress warm, and take some pictures which I would  love to see and share.

Sources: Space.com/NASA/EarthSky