Skip to main content

Everything You Need to Know About January’s Super Blue Blood Moon

super blue blood moon
Photo by Doug Walters
Fact: At every Super Bowl party, there’s at least one attendee who’s only there for the commercials and the seven-layer dip. If you’re among those who only watch football socially, allow us to direct your attention to another upcoming “super” event that may interest you far more than the gridiron action: the super blue blood moon.

Try not to let this imposing moniker evoke visions of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. It’s merely the confluence of several different lunar phenomena in one crazy night.

On January 31, the regularly scheduled full moon will be the third in a string of recent “super moons,” where the moon is closer to earth in its orbit; this will make it about 14 percent brighter than usual. It will also be the second full moon of the month, which designates it as a “blue moon.” This also coincides with a lunar eclipse; the moon will pass through Earth’s shadow, which will cast a reddish tint on it and make it a “blood moon.”

While everyone else is laying in supplies of cocktail wienies and hot cheese dip for game day, this celestial extravaganza might be better suited to a stash of your best psychedelics and some Pink Floyd. Or, you know, whatever turns you on.

ScienceCasts: A Supermoon Trilogy

Since it’s a lunar eclipse, there’s no need for special viewing equipment. However, to see as much of the eclipse as possible, you’ll want to be near a flat western horizon. In the U.S., those on Eastern Standard Time will be the first to see the eclipse. The moon will enter Earth’s penumbra (the lighter, outer part of its shadow) at 5:51 a.m. on January 31, growing darker and more red until 6:48 a.m. As the eclipse nears totality, it will be better seen at points farther west. The total phase will start in California at 4:51 a.m. Pacific Standard Time and end at 6:07 a.m., with the moon emerging from the shadow at 7:11 a.m. (You can find your best time for viewing the eclipse courtesy of NASA.)

In case it needs to be said, this lunar episode is not something likely to happen again while you’re alive. The last super blue blood moon occurred more than 150 years ago, making it arguably more exceptional than Tom Brady’s quarterbacking skills. (Though we wouldn’t recommend arguing the point with your sports fan friends.)

You can watch the Patriots win a Super Bowl game any year, but this super blue blood moon is a once-in-a-lifetime cosmic confluence. Set your alarm, get out there with your binoculars, and feast your eyes on a phenomenon that will be worth telling your grandkids about. And if you’re in the mood for booze, you can whip up some of these astronomical cocktails that we rounded up for last year’s amazing solar eclipse.

Editors' Recommendations

Chelsea Batten
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Chelsea Batten is a writer, photographer, and Kerouac groupie. One of the original digital nomads, she was seduced from life…
Everything You Need to Know Before You Watch Power Book III: Raising Kanan
everything you need to know before watch power book iii raising kanan

The latest installment to the Power series -- Power Book III: Raising Kanan -- is now available on Starz. A prequel to the incredibly successful Power franchise, it revolves around the coming of age of Kanan Stark, a young cocaine distributor who's cultivating his own network of dealers across New York City. Ruthless and hard-hitting, this is the crime drama to watch right now. If you're not already a subscriber to Starz, you can sign up for a one-week free trial right now giving you the opportunity to check out why Power is so good, entirely for free.

What's Power All About?
Power tells the story of James St. Patrick, an intelligent but ruthless drug dealer who goes by the name Ghost. Planning to leave the criminal world to pursue his plans as a nightclub owner, the original show looks at how he tries to balance those two lives as well as his own complex personal life. Part family drama, part crime epic, it's an engaging story starring Omari Hardwick, Lela Loren, Joseph Sikora, and Naturi Naughton.
Who Created Power?
Power is created and produced by Courtney A. Kemp, who's best known for having written for such shows as The Good Wife and Beauty & the Beast. The show has been developed in collaboration with Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson who was an executive producer on the show as well as staring as drug dealer, Kanan Stark.
What's Power Book III: Raising Kanan?
Power Book III: Raising Kanan is a spin-off to Power. A prequel, it's set in Southside, Jamaica, Queens in the 1990s and chronicles the early years of Kanan Stark as viewers watch how he got into the drug dealing business. Originally played by Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson in the earlier Power series, Stark is now played by actor, Mekai Curtis as it looks at his teenage years. It continues to be narrated by Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson. The show also features a cast including Omar Epps, London Brown, Hailey Kilgore, and many others.

Read more
Is Peacock Free? Everything You Need to Know Before the Olympics
The Peacock TV logo on a black background.

The 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games are upon us (even if the calendar says it's 2021), but this time, you're going to need to sign up for Peacock if you want to watch the biggest events live. NBC's one-year-old streaming platform is playing a starring role in the Olympics this year, but the good news is that you don't have to pay to watch most of the main Games -- all you need is to sign up for a free Peacock account. There's one notable exception, though, so read on.

Peacock is somewhat unique in a crowded market of streaming services in that it's totally free to sign up. Your free account gives you access to a limited selection of content, of course, but it's a great way to try out the platform and see if there's anything you like on there (and it's arguably a better and more user-friendly model than standard "free trials" that start automatically billing you after a certain period).

Read more
Everything You Need to Know About Gilbert Burns Before UFC 264
everything you need to know about gilbert burns ufc fighter profile

UFC 264: Poirier vs. McGregor 3 is happening tonight, bringing with it one of the most star-studded main cards of 2021 that features some of the best talent in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Among them is Brazilian mixed martial artist and champion grappler Gilbert "Durinho" Burns, who will be facing Stephen Thompson as the co-main event. If you're looking forward to watching the UFC 264 live stream online this evening and want to know more about one of the top fighters who will be entering the Octagon, read on to learn everything you need to know about Gilbert Burns. Then, be sure to sign up for ESPN+ and grab the UFC 264 PPV so you can watch it live tonight.

UFC 264 is shaping up to be one of the biggest MMA exhibitions of the year. The co-main event (taking place before the trilogy bout between Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor) features second-ranked UFC welterweight Gilbert Burns, who most recently challenged Kamaru Usman for the belt at UFC 258. Burns currently holds a professional record of 19 wins and four losses and sits at the number two spot on the UFC welterweight roster behind Colby Covington.

Read more