‘Supermoon’ set to coincide with lunar eclipse

‘Supermoon’ set to coincide with lunar eclipse

‘Supermoon’ set to coincide with lunar eclipse

Written by Ranee Mohamed

28 Sep, 2015 | 8:04 am

Astronomers are gearing up to spot a rare phenomenon, as a lunar eclipse coincides with a so-called “supermoon”. A supermoon occurs when the Moon is in the closest part of its orbit to Earth, meaning it appears larger in the sky.

The eclipse – expected to make the Moon appear red in colour – will be visible in North America, South America, West Africa and western Europe.

Nasa claims a supermoon last coincided with a lunar eclipse in 1982 and is not expected to again until 2033. But the definition of a supermoon is debated among astronomers.

Skywatchers in the western half of North America, the rest of Europe and Africa, the Middle East and South Asia will see a partial eclipse.

From the UK, observers will see the Moon pass through the Earth’s shadow in the early hours of Monday morning. In North and South America the eclipse will be seen on Sunday evening.

Eclipse facts
  • The supermoon, where Earth’s satellite is near its minimum distance from our planet, means that the Moon will appear 7-8% larger in the sky.
  • The moon may look rust-coloured during a total lunar eclipse – giving rise to its nickname Blood Moon. This is because the Earth’s atmosphere scatters blue light more strongly than red light, and it is this red light that reaches the lunar surface
  • During the eclipse, the Moon lies in front of the stars of the constellation Pisces



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