Stargazers ready for rare event in supermoon eclipse

Stargazers ready for rare event in supermoon eclipse
This four picture combo taken over a one hour period shows the so-called supermoon in various stages as it changes from almost full to almost totally eclipsed above Brasilia, Brazil, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

Stargazers were being treated to a rare astronomical phenomenon when a total lunar eclipse combined with a so-called supermoon.

Those in the United States, Europe, Africa and western Asia can view the coupling, weather permitting, Sunday night or early Monday.

It was the first time the events have made a twin appearance since 1982, and they won't again until 2033.

When a full moon makes its closest approach to Earth, it appears slightly bigger and brighter than usual and has a reddish hue.

That coincides with a full lunar eclipse where the moon, Earth and sun will be lined up, with Earth's shadow totally obscuring the moon.

The event occurred on the U.S. East Coast at 10:11 p.m. EDT (0211 GMT) and last about an hour.

In Europe, the action will unfold before dawn Monday.

In Los Angeles, a large crowd filled the lawn of Griffith Observatory to watch the celestial show while listening to Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" played by 14-year-old pianist Ray Ushikubo.

"You always want to see the eclipse because they're always very different," said astronomer Edwin Krupp, the director of the hilltop landmark.

Krupp said the additional component of the earth's atmosphere adds "all kinds of twists and turns to the experience."

"What we see tonight will be different from the last event: how dark it is, how red it is. It's always interesting to see," he said.

  • Stargazers ready for rare event in supermoon eclipse
    The Earth's shadow obscures the view of a so-called supermoon during a total lunar eclipse over Antwerp, Belgium, Monday, Sept. 28, 2015. Supermoon, or perigee moon, is the name given when the full or new moon comes closest to the Earth making it appear bigger. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo)
  • Stargazers ready for rare event in supermoon eclipse
    A "blood moon", casts its glow over a Christian Orthodox church in Anthoupolis, a suburb of Nicosia in the early hours of Monday, Sept. 28, 2015. A lunar eclipse has given the moon a red tint and makes it appear larger than usual. The rare confluence of an eclipse and supermoon won't happen again for 18 years. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)
  • Stargazers ready for rare event in supermoon eclipse
    A "blood moon" casts its glow over a Christian Orthodox church in Anthoupolis, a suburb of Nicosia in the early hours of Monday, Sept. 28, 2015. A lunar eclipse has given the moon a red tint and makes it appear larger than usual. The rare confluence of an eclipse and supermoon won't happen again for 18 years. (AP Photo/Petros Karadjias)
  • Stargazers ready for rare event in supermoon eclipse
    Earth's shadow obscures the view of the so-called supermoon during a lunar eclipse as steam near oil refineries rises in Edmonton, Alberta, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015. It was the first time Sunday that the events have made a twin appearance since 1982, and they won't again until 2033. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
  • Stargazers ready for rare event in supermoon eclipse
    Girls take selfies before the start of the supermoon lunar eclipse above Brasilia, Brazil, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015. Supermoon, or perigee moon, is the name given when the full or new moon comes closest to the Earth making it appear bigger. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)
  • Stargazers ready for rare event in supermoon eclipse
    People sit on Spanish Banks Beach as the so-called supermoon rises during a lunar eclipse in Vancouver, British Columbia, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015. It was the first time Sunday that the events have made a twin appearance since 1982, and they won't again until 2033. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
  • Stargazers ready for rare event in supermoon eclipse
    Earth's shadow obscures the view of a so-called supermoon during a lunar eclipse over state Capitol in Salt Lake City, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015. It's the first time the events have made a twin appearance since 1982, and they won't again until 2033. (Francisco Kjolseth/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP)
  • Stargazers ready for rare event in supermoon eclipse
    People sit on Spanish Banks Beach as the so-called supermoon rises during a lunar eclipse in Vancouver, British Columbia, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015. It was the first time Sunday that the events have made a twin appearance since 1982, and they won't again until 2033. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP)
  • Stargazers ready for rare event in supermoon eclipse
    Earth's shadow obscures the view of a so-called supermoon as the total lunar eclipse begins to clear Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015, in Jackson, Miss. It was the first time Sunday that the events have made a twin appearance since 1982, and they won't again until 2033. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis)
  • Stargazers ready for rare event in supermoon eclipse
    Earth's shadow begins to obscure the view of a so-called supermoon during a total lunar eclipse Monday, Sept. 28, 2015, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)
  • Stargazers ready for rare event in supermoon eclipse
    Earth's shadow begins to obscure the view of a so-called supermoon during a total lunar eclipse as pasts behind a statue called Horse by the Colombian artist Fernando Botero, Monday, Sept. 28, 2015, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)
  • Stargazers ready for rare event in supermoon eclipse
    The so-called supermoon passes behind the peak of the Washington Monument on a cloudy night in Washington, Sunday, Sept, 27, 2015. The supermoon, or perigee moon, occurs when the full or new moon comes closest to the Earth making it appear bigger. (AP Photo/J. David Ake)
  • Stargazers ready for rare event in supermoon eclipse
    Earth's shadow obscures the view of a so-called supermoon during a lunar eclipse over the LDS Temple in Salt Lake City, Utah, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015. The rare confluence has prompted such widespread fear of an impending apocalypse that the Mormon Church was compelled to issue a statement cautioning the faithful to not get caught up in speculation about a major calamity. It's the first time the events have made a twin appearance since 1982, and they won't again until 2033. (Lennie Mahler/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP)

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Supermoon plus eclipse equals rare sky show Sunday night

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