Super blue blood moon and lunar eclipse a rare sighting

Enhanced image of super blue blood moon. Credit: NASA

Enhanced image of super blue blood moon. Credit: NASA

TORONTO, Friday, Jan. 26, 2018 – It’s rare to see a super blue blood moon and a lunar eclipse all at the same time, says York University Professor Paul Delaney. The last one was in 1866. But that’s what Jan. 31 will bring eager celestial watchers.

The “blue” in the super blue blood moon is because it’s the second full moon of the month, and as it will be relatively close to the Earth, it’s also called a “super” moon. In addition, this particular phase of the moon will see the moon, Earth and Sun all line up, causing a lunar eclipse as the Earth blocks the sun’s light from falling onto the lunar surface. If you’re where the totality phase of the lunar eclipse is visible, this particular super blue moon will not have a bluish cast, but a reddish glow, which makes it a blood moon.

It will depend where you are just how much of the lunar eclipse you’ll be able to see. From British Columbia, residents will see totality, but from Toronto and further east, the Sun will rise before the totality phase is reached.

If you miss this one, the opportunity won’t come again until next year.

WHAT: Super blue blood moon and lunar eclipse

WHEN: Wednesday, Jan. 31

WHO: Paul Delaney of the Faculty of Science will be available to talk about the celestial event.


York University champions new ways of thinking that drive teaching and research excellence. Our students receive the education they need to create big ideas that make an impact on the world. Meaningful and sometimes unexpected careers result from cross-disciplinary programming, innovative course design and diverse experiential learning opportunities. York students and graduates push limits, achieve goals and find solutions to the world’s most pressing social challenges, empowered by a strong community that opens minds. York U is an internationally recognized research university – our 11 faculties and 25 research centres have partnerships with 200+ leading universities worldwide. Located in Toronto, York is the third largest university in Canada, with a strong community of 53,000 students, 7,000 faculty and administrative staff, and more than 300,000 alumni. York U's fully bilingual Glendon Campus is home to Southern Ontario's Centre of Excellence for French Language and Bilingual Postsecondary Education.

Media contact:

Sandra McLean, York University Media Relations, 416-736-2100 ext. 22097,