Mars, Saturn and Jupiter are all visible in the southern predawn sky; the gap between Mars and Jupiter growing as Mars gets closer to Saturn each morning.
Southern sky before dawn, Jan. 30, 2018. Credit: Stellarium / Bob Trembley.
The Moon will be full on the 31st, and with it will come a total lunar eclipse. The total phase of this lunar eclipse will be visible in large parts of US, Russia, Asia, northeastern Europe, the Indian Ocean, Australia, and the Pacific. Hawaii will get an almost perfect view of totality.
I couldn’t agree more with this Wired article about the over-use of media-hyped terms for astronomical events like this eclipse.
Lunar eclipses are sometimes called “Blood Moons.” Sunlight gets filtered and refracted by the Earth’s atmosphere; when the Moon passes through the Earth’s shadow, it takes on a red-orangeish hue.
A Supermoon is when the full Moon is at perigee (its closest approach to Earth). The Moon will be at perigee during this eclipse.
A Blue Moon is the second full Moon in one calendar Month; the full Moon on the 31st will be the 2nd full Moon in January – a fairly rare event.
January’s Moon is sometimes referred to as the Wolf Moon.
So what does that give us? SuperDuperBlueBloodWolfMoon!
This animation shows where the total lunar eclipse can be viewed:
The Sun has been spot-free for 9 days. Triangular prominences, seem to be a recurring theme in the Sun’s chromosphere in recent weeks – there’s a fine example on the right side of the image below.
There are large coronal holes at both of the Sun’s poles. The solar wind speed is 330 km/sec, with a density of 5 protons/cm3– lowest values I’ve seen in several weeks.
You can view the Sun in near real-time, in multiple frequencies here: SDO-The Sun Now.
You can create your own time-lapse movies of the Sun here: AIA/HMI Browse Data.
You can browse all the SDO images of the Sun from 2010 to the present here: Browse SDO archive.
The Solar System
This is the position of the planets in the solar system simulated using NASA Eyes on the Solar System.
Apps used for this post:
Stellarium: a free open source planetarium app for PC/MAC/Linux.
NASA Eyes on the Solar System: an immersive 3D solar system and space mission app – free for the PC /MAC.