Supermoon and lunar eclipse to coincide Sep. 27

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blood moon
By Luisalvaz (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

A total lunar eclipse is rare, but a lunar eclipse and a supermoon occurring at the same time is even more rare. It’s happening Sept. 27, 2015 and will also be the closest full moon of 2015.

What’s a supermoon lunar eclipse?

According to Space, a supermoon lunar eclipse occurs when a full moon is at or near perigee, or when it’s the closest to earth during its elliptical orbit. A perigee moon can look 14 times brighter than an apogee full moon, which occurs when the moon is farthest from the earth during its orbit.

When the earth lines up perfectly between the sun and moon and the full moon passes into the earth’s shadow, a lunar eclipse occurs. The moon oftentimes looks red during a total lunar eclipse, giving it the moniker “blood moon.” The color results from sunlight that makes its way through earth’s atmosphere and bends toward the moon. The amount of dust and clouds in the atmosphere also factor into the red color.

A supermoon total eclipse is also referred to as a “supermoon blood moon total eclipse.”

When to watch

A supermoon hasn’t occurred in 33 years and you won’t see another one until 2033. If you’re in North or South America and don’t want to miss out on this one, keep your eye to the sky Sept. 27 after sunset.

EarthSky says the total eclipse will begin at 10:11 p.m. in the Eastern Time Zone, with the greatest eclipse occurring at 10:47 p.m. EDT.

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