EclipseGeeks - Solar Eclipses and Lunar Eclipses


All you ever wanted to know about eclipses and other celstial bodies

Total Lunar Eclipse 31st January 2018

The lunar eclipse of January 2018 belongs to Saros Series 124

Moonis at ascending node in each suceeding eclipse:


The lunar eclipse of January 2018 belongs to Saros Series 124 and is number 49 of 73 eclipses in the series. All eclipses in Saros Series 124 occur with the Moon at ascending node. In each succeeding eclipse the Moon moves southward with respect to the node and gamma decreases.


Saros Series 124:

First Eclipse: 17 August..... 1152 at 00:06:26 TD

Final Eclipse: 21st October 2450 at 11:12:18 TD

Duration of Saros series 124: 1298.17 Years

[TD: Terrestrial Dynamical Time]

Where and when to see the lunar eclipse: Information on the first lunar eclipse of 2018

The January 2018 lunar eclipse is visible from:

Asia, Australia, New Zealand, The Pacific region, western North America

The Total Lunar Eclipse of January  2018 belongs to Saros Series 124

References: British Astronomical Association handbook:

Eclipse Predictions by Fred Espenak,

World Map Lunar Eclipse diagram: 31st January 2018

The lunar eclipse is visible from:

Asia, Australia, New Zealand, The Pacific region, western North America

[Earth image credit: NASA Visible Earth Terra/MODIS cloudless Earth and DMSP city lights image]

Click visible Earth image to enlarge:


The satellite ‘Earth View’ image above shows the Lunar Eclipse of January 2018 at Greatest Eclipse and gives an indication from where the eclipse can be seen.


Earth View image description:

The fine line between night and day on the left over north-east North America denotes the eclipse before sunrise.


The fine line between night and day on the right over Asia denotes the eclipse at sunset.  


The bright section on Earth Image denotes regions from where the lunar eclipse cannot be viewed.

Information on viewing the lunar eclipse January 2018

and countries from where you can see it:


Australia, New Zealand and parts of east Asia offer viewing opportunities from which the entire lunar eclipse phase can be witnessed. The lunar eclipse in Australia, New Zealand and Asia occurs in the evening.


The lunar eclipse is also viewable from north west North America where the eclipse occurs before sunrise.


The Total Lunar Eclipse on the 31st January 2018 coincides with the Moon very near perigee (closet point to Earth): The Moon comes to its closest point the day before the eclipse on 30th January 2018 - time of 09:55 GMT/UT - at a distance of: 223,068.miles / 358,994 km).



What is the name given for when a Full Moon is at its closest to point to Earth?

It is known technically (with the long-winded mouthful of) 'a perigee syzygy of the Earth–Moon–Sun system' so it’s probably not surprising that a shorter name was preferred, which to some astronomers shortened to, a Perigee Full Moon. The Moon also sometimes comes closest to Earth during a New Moon, known as a perigee New Moon.


social memes on social media about a perigee Full Moon:

Due to memes on social media it has become a widespread fashion to call a Perigee Full Moon a supermoon.  


Blue Moon: Does it turn blue? The full Moon of 31st January 2018 is also the second full Moon in the same month, often known as a blue moon. The name Blue Moon is only a name and has nothing to do with the Moon's colour. A blue moon is when there are two full Moons in the same month and occurs due to the orbit of the Moon and a quark in the calendar.



Why is a second Full Moon in the same month called a Blue Moon? How often does a Blue Moon Occur?

The name ‘blue moon’ may have originated from old English meaning; betrayer. On average a Blue Moon occurs approximately once every 2.7 years.


Why does the Moon sometimes look a different colour even when there is not a lunar eclipse?

Atmospheric conditions on Earth, for example after a large volcanic eruption, can change the Moon’s appearance of tone, but this is dust and volcanic particles in Earth’s atmosphere and not to the actual colour of the Moon's surface, but the Moon does change colour during a Total Lunar Eclipse due to red-light scattering by particles in Earth’s atmosphere which refract to the surface of the Moon.

January 2018 Lunar Eclipse and some hyped memes on social media about the event:


A Total Lunar Eclipse is majestic in its own unique way and given dark skies makes a beautiful spectacle.

Some memes on social media about the January 2018 Lunar Eclipse are describing it with some hyperbole names and descriptions such as: Super Blue Blood Moon and Blue Super Blood Moon Eclipse, plus other names, perhaps you have seen some and like them, or perhaps not, if it entices more people to look at the eclipse or become interested in astronomy then that will be good, but eclipses and astronomy is absorbing and interesting enough on its own merit and eclipsegeeks prefers using astronomical names, descriptions, and widely accepted common terms.


Totel Lunar Eclipse 31st January 2018 Contact Times:



Penumbral Begins   P1: 10:51:12.9 UT | 10:52:21.6 TD

Partial Begins          U1: 11:48:27.7 UT | 11:49:36.4 TD

Total Begins            U2:12:51:48.5 UT  | 12:52:57.3 TD


Greatest Eclipse:    13:29:51.4 UT | 13:31:00.1 TD


Total Ends              U3:  14:07:53.1 UT | 14:09:01.8TD

Partial Ends           U4:  15:11:13.6 UT | 15:12:22.3 TD

Penumbral Ends    P4: 16:08:32.3 UT | 16:09:41.1 TD


Eclipse Duration

Penumbral: (P4 to P1) 05 hours17 minutes19.4 seconds

Partial:        (U4 to U1) 03 hours 22 minutes 45.9seconds

Total:          (U3 to U2) 01 hours 16 minutes 04.6 seconds



Eclipse Specifications


Umbral Magnitude:       1.3155

Penumbral Magnitude: 2.2941

Radius of Penumbra:   1.2978°

Radius of Umbra:         0.7567°



Axis:        0.3058°

Gamma: -0.30143


Ecliptic Conjunction: 13:26:42:5 GMT/UT  



Time Key:

GMT: Greenwich Meantime

UT: Universal Time

TD: Terrestrial Dynamical Time


Eclipse predictions 31st January 2018 lunar eclipse using Delta Value: ΔT: 71 seconds



To calculate GMT/UT to your own time zone, you can vist eclipsegeeks-page-tme-zone-world-map.

diagram-umbra-january-2018-lunar-eclispe-geeks january-2018-earth-view-mao-total-lunar-eclipse-geeks

Diagram of the Total Lunar Eclipse 31st January 2018


The diagram below shows the trajectory of the Moon through Earth's penumbra and umbra. The Moon passes through the lower shadow of Earth's penumbra/umbra, therefore the northern polar region of the Moon will appear slightly darker than the Moon’s southern polar region, which being closer to the penumbra will be slightly paler.

Observing lunar eclipses and what to expect when watching

a total eclipse of the Moon:


Apart from the natural tone of red-waveletgh cast by Earth's atmosphere out into Space and captured by the Moon during a total lunar eclipse as it pases through Earth's umbra, observing lunar eclipses is also dependent on local viewing conditions at the time, cloud can spoil the view, and dust in Earth’s atmosphere can also alter the tone of shade seen on the Moon.


You can expect to see the Moon change to a red-orange tinge, it can be anything between a rusty brown to a glowing orange. Lunar eclipses are gentle and serene, they give us an opportunity to think about our place in orbit about the Sun and the Moon’s orbit of our planet.  


USA and Canada - Total Lunar Eclipse observers guide:


The only part of the U.S.A. from where observers can see the whole phase of each part of the Lunar Eclipse is Hawaii and Alaska, also north-west Canada.


To various degrees the lunar eclipse in some parts of the United States (especially the east) will be beginning just as the Sun is rising and viewing is poor, further west in some parts of the states the eclipse occurs just before sunrise, conditions still not excellent.


Middle East, Asia, New Zealand, and Australia

In the Middle East and parts of Asia, the eclipse occurs as the Moon is risng, and can’t view the whole event. Meanwhile eastern Russia, Australia and New Zealand the lunar eclipse occurs at night and offers some of the finest viewing conditions.

The Moon reached perigee (closest to Earth) on 30th January 2018, and so the Full Moon comes within the parameter of being defined as a perigee-full Moon. This (due to social memes) is sometimes referred to a a supermoon. Many astronomers do not like that term and prefer perigee-full-moon. There is another more technical name for this phenomena but it is rather long-winded: perigee syzygy of the Earth–Moon–Sun system.



The Moon being a perigee-full Moon on the same day as a Total Eclipse of the Moon, gives people an opportunity to look at the Full Moon in all its splendour, even though they may not be able see the lunar eclipse.