On September 27th, 2015 there will be a very rare event in the night sky – a supermoon lunar eclipse. At the bottom of this post is a video from NASA explaining what it is, but here is the quickie summary.
A lunar eclipse happens when the moon makes its way directly behind the earth and the sun, landing in Earth’s shadow shadow. This is often referred to as a “blood moon” because the moon ends up having an orangey / reddish tint. However, what makes this Sunday’s event a supermoon is because the full moon is hitting at its closest-to-earth orbit point. This makes it look larger than normal, filling the sky and leading some to predict doomsday prophesies.
According to Refinery 29, many of us in North and South America, Africa, and Western Europe should be able to witness at least part of the spectacular supermoon lunar eclipse.
The actual total eclipse will begin just after 10 p.m. Eastern Time and will go until around 11:30 p.m. But the moon will start to head into our shadow around 8 p.m. and won’t leave until 1 a.m. — you can make a whole night of it if you want the full experience. So let’s all prayer-hands-emoji for clear (and not too chilly) weather this weekend.
On the west coast, the weather is supposed to be hot and the skies clear, which will help for viewing out here. Get a minute-by-minute breakdown of how the supermoon will look in the video below.
Why is seeing it so important? As the video explains, a supermoon lunar eclipse has only happened five times since 1910. The last one hit in 1982, and the next one won’t happen until 2033 — so set your calendars now.