This weekend, lunar eclipse coincides with supermoon

super lunar eclipse diagram

The moon will enter the Earth’s outer shadow (penumbra) at 8:12 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time and the deepest part of the shadow (umbra) at 9:07 p.m. Totality lasts from 10:11 p.m. to 11:23 p.m.

C. Crockett/Science News

Once in a blue moon, a supermoon turns into a blood moon. During the September 27 total lunar eclipse, the moon will turn a deep crimson when it passes through Earth’s shadow on its monthly closest approach to the planet — something that hasn’t happened since 1982.

The eclipse will run from 9:07 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time to 12:27 a.m. With clear skies, observers from western Europe to central North America could see the entire thing.

This eclipse coincides with a “supermoon” (when the moon passes closest to Earth during a full moon and appears slightly bigger than normal). And just like every eclipse, the moon will reflect the light from simultaneous sunsets and sunrises happening on Earth. That sunlight creates a “blood moon” as it filters through Earth’s atmosphere and casts a dark, ruddy hue.  

Christopher Crockett is an Associate News Editor. He was formerly the astronomy writer from 2014 to 2017, and he has a Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of California, Los Angeles.

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