There’s a supermoon happening on September 27th. And you will want to see this one. Why? Because it happens to coincide with a total lunar eclipse. The last time this happened was more than three decades ago.
What are supermoons
A ‘supermoon’ appears larger and brighter than a usual full moon. The image below highlights the difference between a supermoon and a regular full moon perfectly.
But why does this happen? It’s because the moon’s orbit around Earth is elliptical. It’s not a perfect circle. The average distance between us and the moon is about 239,000 miles. Because of its elliptical orbit, the moon can drift as far away as 252,000 miles or as close in as 226,000 miles. No one cares when the moon looks a bit tinier than normal. But the supermoon makes the news every time one happens. I’m not complaining. The more people who get into astronomy, the better.
Supermoons aren’t all that rare. In 2014, there was three of them. But, a supermoon lunar eclipse is a special treat. Since 1900, just five supermoon lunar eclipses have happened according to NASA. If you end up missing the one on September 27th, you’ll be waiting until 2033 to get another shot.
Can you see it?
The eastern half of the U.S. will be able to see the entire supermoon lunar eclipse on the night of September 27th. Draw a straight line from Brownsville, Texas through Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and on north. Just about all of the western half of the U.S. will be able to see 75% of the event. Check out the image below to see how much of the event you will be able to see. Check out this link for your exact area. (It should detect where you live)
2017’s Solar Eclipse
August 21, 2017. Now that’s a date to remember. A total solar eclipse will be visible across a large portion of the U.S.