Ottawa to get partial glimpse of 'super blue blood moon'

Early Wednesday morning the lunar eclipse, which will be partially visible in Ottawa's western sky, falls on the second full moon of the month. It's what astronomers call a "super blue blood moon."

Lunar eclipse to occur during full moon early Wednesday morning

A photo taken by Ottawa astronomer Gary Boyle during a previous partial lunar eclipse. (Gary Boyle)

Once in a blue moon, a lunar eclipse occurs during a blue moon.

That rare phenomenon will happen early Wednesday morning when the lunar eclipse, which will be partially visible in Ottawa's western sky, falls on the second full moon of the month, known as a blue moon.

For skygazers the effect will be what astronomers call "a super blue blood moon."

"Light refracted through our atmosphere turns the lunar surface red, much like we see red sunsets," said Ottawa astronomer Gary Boyle. 

According to Boyle, the best viewing time from this area begins at 6:48 a.m. But from this region's vantage point we'll only see a partial eclipse.

"Although this eclipse is seen across North America, western portions will see the entire event. Those in the east will see the moon moving into the shadow as the moon sets."

That means our view won't be nearly as good as the view from the western provinces.

"Vancouver is the place to go. They'll see from start to finish," said Boyle. "The best thing to do [in Ottawa] is head out anywhere that has a great western horizon if you actually want to see it and photograph it, and let's hope for a nice clear horizon."

If you miss this super blue blood moon, you'll have to wait until Jan. 21, 2019, to see the next total lunar eclipse.

It will be worth the wait, Boyle said, because on that occasion skygazers in the east will have the best seats.