Worldwide Supermoon and Lunar Eclipse to Be Seen Sunday

Australia Supermoon

On Sunday night the skies will be greeted by a reddish Supermoon and a lunar eclipse, a combination that hasn't happened for 30 years and won't happen again until 2033, according to NASA.

The moon will appear bigger than normal during the eclipse because it will be closest to Earth while in orbit, which scientists call a perigee.

"Because the orbit of the moon is not a perfect circle, the moon is sometimes closer to the Earth than at other times during its orbit,” wrote Noah Petro, deputy project scientist for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, on NASA's website.

"When the moon is farthest away, it’s known as apogee and when it’s closest it’s known as perigee. On Sept. 27, we’re going to have a perigee full moon—the closest full moon of the year."

Lunar eclipses typically occur at least twice a year and 228 will occur in the 21st century alone, according to NASA. Historically, Incans and Mesopotamians viewed lunar eclipses as random, frightening occurrences when they’re actually quite predictable, Petro added.

The red coloring of the moon is a reflection of light particles filtered through the atmosphere as the Earth casts its shadow, according to a blog post by the California Institute of Technology

The lunar eclipse will last roughly about one hour and 12 minutes, and NASA will have a live stream from 8:00 p.m. until 11:30 p.m. ET broadcasting from the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala, and a live feed from the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, Calif.

The eclipse will be visible in North and South America, Europe, Africa and parts of West Asia and the eastern Pacific.

Contact Us