The ‘Blood Moon’ Has European Space Watchers Excited, But When Is The Next Blood Moon Visible In The U.S.?

It's in about six months.

the blood moon has europeans excited
bochimsang12 / Shutterstock

It's in about six months.

There’s going to be a “blood moon” on July 27, and it’s got European space watchers excited, and for good reason: This one is expected to be one of the most impressive in a century, according to Newsweek. So when is the next blood moon that will be visible in the United States? In about six months.

What’s A “Blood Moon”?

It’s a lunar eclipse.

Thanks to the position of the sun, the Earth, and the moon at different points during the moon’s orbit around the Earth, the Earth will cast a shadow on the surface of the moon.

this is how a blood moon works
  sagredo / Wikimedia Commons (GPL)

Thanks to some rather complicated science that won’t be explained here, when the light from the moon reaches our eyes, it appears red, the color of blood. Ergo: Blood Moon.

What’s So Special About This One?

For one thing, it will be the second lunar eclipse in a calendar month. That’s pretty cool, but from an astronomical standpoint, it’s utterly meaningless. After all, the moon has been orbiting around the Earth for billions of years, regardless of arbitrary things like “days” and “months” that we humans came up with.

The big reason that this one will be so special is because of the position of the moon. Out satellite’s orbit is not a perfect circle, but rather, elliptical. That means that at some points it’s closer to the Earth, and at some points, it’s further. And on July 31, it will be extremely close (as these things go). Long story short, the July 31 blood moon will be the biggest, brightest, and longest of this century.

Too Bad Americans Can’t See It

This eclipse will only be visible in parts of Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Africa, and even parts of South America

the blood moon won't be visible in the us
  muratart / Shutterstock

By the time the moon has moved out of the Earth’s shadow, it will still be a solid two hours before moonrise in New York City, and five hours before moonrise on the West Coast.

However, if you’re outside of the visibility area of this eclipse, don’t despair: lunar eclipses occur twice per year, though they’re of course, not visible everywhere at the same time. The next lunar eclipse/blood moon that will be visible in the United States will occur on January 21, 2019, according to Space.com.

“The Jan. 21, 2019 eclipse… will be visible from all of North and South America, weather permitting. Observers in some parts of Europe, Africa and Asia will also be able to see at least some portion of this eclipse.”

And although it won’t be as spectacular as the upcoming July 27 eclipse, it will still be a good one, considering that the moon will be near (but not at) its closest point to the Earth on that day.