Rare Super Moon And Lunar Eclipse Sunday

September 25, 2015
The United States was in a prime orbital position and time of day to view the eclipse on April 15, 2014. Depending on local weather conditions, the public got a spectacular view looking into the sky as the moon's appearance changed from bright o

The United States was in a prime orbital position and time of day to view the eclipse on April 15, 2014. Depending on local weather conditions, the public got a spectacular view looking into the sky as the moon's appearance changed from bright orange to blood red to dark brown and perhaps gray. The eclipse is a phenomenon that occurs when the Earth, moon and sun are in perfect alignment, blanketing the moon in the Earth's shadow. The United States, in its entirety, will not be able to witness a full lunar eclipse again until 2019. This image was taken in San Jose, Calif.

NASA/Public Domain

On Sunday night, a total lunar eclipse will coincide with a super moon and a blood moon for the first time in over three decades. A super moon occurs when the moon is at its closest point to the earth and can appear up to fourteen percent larger. The red tint of a blood moon is a side effect of the lunar eclipse where the moon passes into its own shadow.

This combination won’t happen again until 2033.

David Leake, the head of Staerkel Planetarium at Parkland College in Champaign, says that the eclipse will take several hours to complete. “The eclipse will start just after 8:00 [p.m.] and I believe it will go through about 11:00. Lunar eclipses are a little bit more regular than solar eclipses, because with solar you have to be in the moon shadow that’s falling on the earth. But we’re going to have a big solar eclipse here in August of 2017 so you can get that on your calendar.”

If you would like to see the super moon and eclipse up close, the CU Astronomical Society will have telescopes set up outside Staerkel Planetarium, weather permitting. The event is free and they ask that visitors park in the M-1 lot. If clouds are in the area, you may want to call them at 217-351-2567 to see if the event is still on. 

Story source: WILL