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Weather Talk: Super, blue moon eclipse is really nothing super

If you are reading the paper before sunrise today, there is a lunar eclipse going on.

The partial eclipse begins about 5:48 a.m. and goes total about 6:51 a.m. The eclipsed moon then sets in full totality as the sun rises.

There has been a great deal of attention paid to this eclipse by amateurs all around, owing to this full moon being both a supermoon and a blue moon. But these two aspects are unimportant.

A supermoon occurs when the full moon happens at a point in the moon's orbit in which the bright orb is slightly closer and bigger than other full moons. But this difference is irrelevant because our eyes are unable to see the difference without the power of suggestion.

A blue moon is also not a big deal as it is simply the second full moon within a calendar month.

If you missed the eclipse this morning, do not despair. There will be another lunar eclipse next January.

John Wheeler

John was born in Baton Rouge, LA, and grew up near Birmingham, Alabama. As a teenager, his family moved to Madison, Wisconsin, and later to a small town in northeast Iowa. John traces his early interest in weather to the difference in climate between Alabama and Wisconsin. He is a graduate of Iowa State University with a degree in meteorology. Like any meteorologist, John is intrigued by extremes of weather, especially arctic air outbreaks and winter storms.  John has been known to say he prefers his summers to be hot but in winter, he prefers the cold.  When away from work, John enjoys long-distance running and reading.  John has been a meteorologist at WDAY since May of 1985.

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