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What’s a super wolf blood moon? SLO County can see the lunar trifecta this weekend

See the beautiful, massive super blue blood moon set over Shell Beach

California got a special show early Wednesday, January 31, 2018 — an excellent view of the super blue blood moon and lunar eclipse, which hasn't happened since 1866. Here's a look at the moon setting over Shell Beach in SLO County, California.
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California got a special show early Wednesday, January 31, 2018 — an excellent view of the super blue blood moon and lunar eclipse, which hasn't happened since 1866. Here's a look at the moon setting over Shell Beach in SLO County, California.

For the second year in a row, San Luis Obispo County will have a front-row seat to a lunar trifecta.

On Sunday, a total lunar eclipse, sometimes called a blood moon, will take place — and it will coincide with a supermoon and a wolf moon.

On the West Coast, the eclipse begins at 7:33 p.m. and totality begins at 8:41 p.m., according to Space.com. Totality ends at 9:43 p.m., and the eclipse ends at 10:50 p.m.

Cloudy skies on Sunday should clear up somewhat by the time the eclipse reaches totality, according to PG&E meteorologist John Lindsey. A cold front is expected to move through the Central Coast between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., resulting in partly cloudy skies.

“There might be some opportunities to see the full lunar eclipse. I think there’s a good chance of seeing it,” Lindsey said. “It depends on whether the front slows down — if it does, the front could be passing during the eclipse.”

The lunar eclipse will be visible across all of North and South America, according to Space.com.

From start to finish, it will last 3 hours and 17 minutes, and totality will last 1 hour and 2 minutes, according to NASA.

A lunar eclipse causes the moon’s appearance to change as it enters Earth’s shadow, according to Space.com. During the eclipse, the moon turns a rusty, red color, thus the moniker “blood moon.”

A supermoon refers to either a new or full moon that coincides with the time of the month when the moon is at the closest point to Earth in its orbit, according to EarthSky.

And a wolf moon refers to the January full moon, according to timeanddate.com. The website is planning to livestream the eclipse. A blue moon is the second full moon that occurs in a single month.

SLO County observed a super blue blood moon in January 2018.

The next total lunar eclipse will happen on May 26, 2021, and will be visible over the Pacific Ocean.

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Gabby Ferreira is a breaking news and general assignment reporter at The Tribune in San Luis Obispo. A native of Houston, Texas, she was a reporter in Tucson, Arizona; Indianapolis, Indiana; and Palm Springs, California, before moving to San Luis Obispo County in 2016.


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