Supermoon Lunar Eclipse Will Be The First In More Than 30 Years
won’t see again until 2033.
Next Sunday, Sept. 27, people in the United States can see something
that hasn’t happened in more than 30 years:
a supermoon combined with a lunar eclipse.
In the evening, sky-watchers will see a larger-than-normal harvest moon
begin to dim and turn red, lasting for more than an hour
before returning to its normal brightness and color in the sky.
The last time this happened was 1982, and it won’t happen again until 2033.
This light show in the sky is courtesy of two usually separate phenomena
occurring at the the same time: The supermoon is what makes the moon appear bigger; the lunar eclipse turns the moon red.
So, What Is a Supermoon?
“Supermoon” is the unofficial term for “perigee,”
when a full moon coincides with the moon’s closest approach to Earth
in its oval-shaped orbit, making it appear 14 percent bigger in the night sky.
(We’re actually in the middle of a cycle of three supermoons in a row.
The first showed up Aug. 29, and the last will be Oct. 27.)
A lunar eclipse happens when the Earth passes between the moon and the sun. The moon enters the Earth’s shadow, creating a reddish glow on the moon.
NASA says the supermoon will begin to dim at 8:11 p.m. EDT.
A shadow will fall over the moon starting at 9:07,
with the total eclipse beginning at 10:11 and lasting for an hour and 12 minutes.
It’s also no cause for concern, despite the ancient Incans and Mesopotamians believing the moon to be under attack during a lunar eclipse.
“The only thing that will happen on Earth during an eclipse
is that people will wake up the next morning with neck pain
because they spent the night looking up,” Noah Petro, deputy project scientist for NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter said in the release.