The Grand Strand could see a partial lunar eclipse this week

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East coast residents may still be able to see the blood moon, but it will not be as impressive due to the lack of darkness at the time of the event. The moon does not actually look blue.

The relative "superness" of a full moon depends on how close it occurs to the perigree - the specific instant in time that the moon and Earth are closest to each other.

A lunar eclipse only occurs during a full moon.

The January 31 full moon is special for three reasons: it's the third in a series of "supermoons", and about 14 percent brighter than usual. The next supermoon will be January 20, 2019. When there is more than one full moon in a month, that second moon is referred to as a blue moon (although this is just one of two distinct definitions of what constitutes a "blue moon").

On top of it all, Wednesday's full moon is also considered a blue moon. We don't get them very often (hence the phrase "once in a blue moon").

On Jan. 31, the sun, moon and Earth line up (syzygy), so that Earth's shadow blocks sunlight normally reflected off the moon. The super moon occurrence will cause the moon to be 10 to 13 per cent bigger and 30 per cent brighter.

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"If you were standing on the moon looking back at the earth, you would see all the sunsets of the world falling on you", Aufdenberg said. This partial eclipse starts at 5:48 a.m. CST and will continue until the moon sets at 6:50 a.m. CST.

When the lunar eclipse begins early Wednesday, it will look like a shadowy edge moving over the moon.

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Lunar eclipses occur at least twice a year. For India, the three events coincide after a gap of 36 years. For it to occur, the planets had to align. We already had one on the first of January, and our second will be Wednesday, making it a blue moon. The next time the trifecta occurs where it can be seen in America won't be for half a millennia, until August 31, 2528. Or, more specifically, once in a super blue blood moon. Right now, I'd say we have a 50/50 shot for good to decent viewing conditions. If not you are missing out on one of the most spectacular sights you could ever hope to see.

On 31 January 2018, the final installment of what National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has billed as a "supermoon trilogy" will grace our skies. Aufdenberg said the event promised to be "a real zinger".

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