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Blue moon, supermoon, total lunar eclipse rolled into one

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Staff Writer |
Blue moon
Space   The moon will be closest to Earth on Tuesday

On Wednesday, much of the world will get to see not only a blue moon and a supermoon, but also a total lunar eclipse, all rolled into one.

There hasn't been a triple lineup like this since 1982 and the next won't occur until 2037.

The eclipse will be visible best in the western half of the U.S. and Canada before the moon sets early Wednesday morning, and across the Pacific into Asia as the moon rises Wednesday night into Thursday.

The U.S. East Coast will be out of luck; the moon will be setting just as the eclipse gets started. Europe and most of Africa and South America also will pretty much miss the show.

A blue moon is the second full moon in a month. A supermoon is a particularly close full or new moon, appearing somewhat brighter and bigger. A total lunar eclipse - or blood moon for its reddish tinge - has the moon completely bathed in Earth's shadow.

The moon will be closest to Earth on Tuesday - just over 223,000 miles (359,000 kilometers). That's about 1,500 miles (2,400 kilometers) farther than the supermoon on January 1.

Midway through Wednesday's eclipse, the moon will be even farther away - 223,820 miles (360,200 kilometers) - but still within unofficial supermoon guidelines.


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