Here is a night sky show that you must add on your must-watch list on Sunday (Sept. 27) – a rare supermoon total lunar eclipse.
This highly anticipated phenomenon will surely be a sight to behold for skywatchers throughout North and South America, Europe, Africa, western Asia, and the eastern Pacific Ocean region.
According to NASA, this phenomenon could be seen on the evening of Sept. 27 in North America and for those Europe; and most of Africa, it will be visible early morning of Sept 28.
The supermoon will begin to blur slightly at 8:11 p.m. EDT on Sept. 27 (0011 GMT on Sept. 28). The total eclipse will start at 10:11 p.m. EDT (0211 GMT), and it will last for up to 72 minutes.
On Sunday, the moon will not only be closer to the Earth but will also pass completely into Earth’s shadow.
During this time, the moon is about 31,000 miles closer to Earth than it is at apogee. As a result, perigee full moons, or what is known as the supermoons, appear about 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter in the sky than do apogee full moons.
Noah Petro, deputy project scientist for Maryland’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, said that on Sept. 27 “There’s no physical difference in the moon. It just appears slightly bigger in the sky. It’s not dramatic, but it does look larger.”
Space.com said “normal” total lunar eclipses are not uncommon too since on average, a skywatcher in a given location can watch one of these events at least every 2.5 years.
However, it is uncommon for a total lunar eclipse to occur at the same with a supermoon.
According to NASA, Sunday’s celestial event will be the first supermoon eclipse in the past three decades. There have been just five such events since 1900 (in 1910, 1928, 1946, 1964 and 1982). The next will be on 2033.