First Blue Moon eclipse in 150 years happens in January

We've all heard the old expression "Once in a blue moon" and it means something happens very rarely. The last time an actual blue moon total lunar eclipse happened was over 150 years ago. The special event is set to happen again this month.

The eclipse will be the very first of the year and will happen on January 31. Blue Moon is the second full moon of a month. The eclipse happens in the middle of the night and some of the best viewing will be in Central and Eastern Asia, Indonesia, New Zealand, and Australia.

When the moon rises in western Asia, the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East, and Eastern Europe the eclipse will already be underway. When it comes to viewing in our part of the world, Alaska, Hawaii, and northwestern Canada will get to see the eclipse from start to finish. The rest of North and Central America will be interrupted by moonset.

The total eclipse phase along the west coast of the US will start at 4:51 a.m. PST. The total duration of the eclipse is 77 minutes. Along the Atlantic seaboard in the US, the moon will enter the darkest part of the Earth's shadow at 6:48 am EST.

If you miss this eclipse, the next time a Blue Moon eclipse will happen will be December 31, 2028, and then on January 21, 2037. The last total eclipse of a Blue Moon was March 31, 1866.