The Griffith Observatory will be hosting an early morning gathering of sky-gazers Wednesday as the Southland is treated to a lunar spectacle that hasn’t been visible in the United States in more than 150 years.
The last time a “Super Blue Blood Moon” was visible in the Western Hemisphere was 1866, but that will all change beginning around 3:45 a.m. Wednesday.
The phenomenon is a convergence of three lunar events — a supermoon, a blue moon and a blood moon.
There will be a lunar eclipse, but it is occurring during a blue moon, which is the description given to the second full moon of a calendar month. It is also occurring during a supermoon, which happens when the moon is at its closest point to the Earth, making it appear up to 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than usual.
A blood moon occurs during a lunar eclipse when the Earth passes between the moon and sun, giving the moon a reddish tint.
The Griffith Observatory will be opening its grounds at 3:45 a.m. Wednesday for dedicated sky-gazers. Anyone planning to attend is being advised to arrive early, expect crowds and potentially long walks. Attendees are prohibited from bringing their own telescopes and may not bring lawn furniture.
The eclipse is expected to begin at 3:48 a.m., reaching “totality” at 4:51 a.m. The moon will begin emerging from the Earth’s shadow at 6:07 a.m., with sunrise scheduled for 6:51 a.m.
The observatory will also be offering a live-stream of the lunar event on its website.
–City News Service