We’re About to See a Rare Moon That Hasn’t Appeared For More Than 150 Years since 31 March 1866.
On January 31, around midnight, the full moon will not only be super, it will be a blue moon and a blood moon.
The blue moon comes as it will be the second full moon in a month. That happens every two and a half years, hence the saying “once in a blue moon”.
But wait, there’s more – these two celestial events, the blue moon and the super moon, will also coincide with a total lunar eclipse.
With Earth in between the Sun and the Moon, sunlight has to pass through the Earth’s atmosphere, which scatters the green to violet light more than it scatters the red light. So the Moon appears red – a blood moon.
The last time all three events lined up this perfectly was more than 150 years ago. According to the Canon of Lunar Eclipses, the last time humans saw a total eclipse of a blue moon was 31 March 1866.
Is this rare moon an omen of social change?
Historical context of the last appearance of this rare moon. The American Civil War ended in 1865, so March 31, 1866 was near the beginning of post-Civil War Reconstruction. This rare moon last rose over 4 million newly freed slaves in America and a newly reunited United States of America.
On the tenth of May 1866, just a month and a half after the rare moon, the Eleventh National Women’s Rights Convention met in New York City. Thus, in 1866, the National Women’s Rights Convention officially merged with the American Antislavery Society to form the American Equal Rights Association (AERA). This union marked the culmination of the longstanding partnership between abolitionist and women’s rights advocates.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton presided over the meeting. Stanton captured the radical spirit of the hour: “now in the reconstruction,” she declared, “is the opportunity, perhaps for the century, to base our government on the broad principle of equal rights for all.”
Where to see it in all its glory?
Three big Moon moments on one glorious night for skywatchers. The best place to see it, according to Space.com, will be in central and eastern Asia, Indonesia, New Zealand and Australia.
Unfortunately, the US will miss out on the full spectacle as the eclipse will happen too close to the Moon setting.
You can see where the eclipse will be visible in the graphic below.
Portions of this article originally published by Business Insider.