Jan. 31 (UPI) -- The last day of January began with the appearance of a rare phenomenon -- a super blue blood moon.
NASA broadcast video from across the United States of the rare moon this morning, with the lunar eclipse ending around 9:21 a.m. ET.
The moon's three modifiers -- super, blue, blood -- refer to a rare trifecta of phenomena, making it the third in a series of "super moons."
Wednesday's full moon was super as a result of its closeness to Earth, known as its perigee. As a result, the moon appeared 14 percent larger than normal. Because it was the second full moon during the month of January, the moon was a "blue moon."
Most significantly, the moon passed through the shadow of the Earth. During the lunar eclipse, the moon took on a red tint -- hence, the blood moon.
"You've got this wonderful combination," Brian Day, of NASA's Ames Research Center, told NPR. "It's just loading up the plate with all the wonderful things the moon can show us."
The lunar eclipse wasn't easily seen everywhere. The change in color, as the moon passed through Earth's shadow, was hard to make out on the East Coast.
The phenomenon wasn't just an excuse to get out the camera. It also inspired NASA scientists to think about future missions.
An eclipse can be helpful for scientists to determine where to land a rover, as surface temperatures change, very gradually, over a 28-day period.
"When you have a total eclipse, you get that sudden darkening of the surface, you go from having the sun directly overhead the surface of the moon to suddenly being dark. And so you get a real sudden temperature change," Day said. "That's interesting to us. Because different types of materials on the moon will heat up and cool down differently."
The next opportunity to witness a lunar eclipse in North America will be a year from now -- on Jan. 21, 2019. However, it won't be a blue moon -- those only happen once... in a blue moon.