Supermoon plus eclipse equals rare sky show Sunday night

Supermoon plus eclipse equals rare sky show Sunday night
This Sept. 13, 2015 image provided by NASA shows the moon, left, and the Earth, top, transiting the sun together, seen from the Solar Dynamics Observatory. The edge of Earth appears fuzzy because the atmosphere blocks different amounts of light at different altitudes. This image was taken in extreme ultraviolet wavelengths, invisible to human eyes, but here colorized in gold. A total lunar eclipse will share the stage with a so-called supermoon Sunday evening, Sept. 27, 2015 as seen from the United States. That combination hasn't been seen since 1982 and won't happen again until 2033. (NASA/SDO via AP)

Get ready for a rare double feature, starring our very own moon.

A will share the stage with a so-called supermoon Sunday night or early Monday, depending where you are. That combination hasn't been seen since 1982 and won't happen again until 2033.

When a full or new makes its to Earth, that's a supermoon. Although still about 220,000 miles away, this full moon will look bigger and brighter than usual. In fact, it will be the closest full moon of the year, about 30,000 miles closer than the average distance. (The moon's orbit is far from a perfect circle.)

NASA planetary scientist Noah Petro is hoping the celestial event will ignite more interest in the moon. He is deputy project for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO, which has been studying the moon from since 2009.

"The moon's a dynamic place," Petro said Wednesday. "We're seeing changes on the surface of the moon from LRO. We're seeing that it's not this static dead body in the sky ... it's this great astronomical object that we have in our backyard, essentially. So people should get out and start looking at it."

Many stargazers, professional and amateur alike, dislike the term "supermoon," noting the visible difference between a moon and supermoon is slight to all but the most faithful observers.

"It's not like the difference between an ordinary man and Superman," said Alan MacRobert, a senior editor at Sky & Telescope magazine. "It really ought to be called a tiny, slightly little bit bigger moon, rather than the supermoon."

The full eclipse of the moon will last more than an hour and be visible, weather permitting, from North and South America, Europe, Africa and western Asia. Showtime on the U.S. East Coast is 10:11 p.m. EDT (0211 GMT); that's when the moon, Earth and sun will be lined up, with Earth's shadow totally obscuring the moon.

In Europe, the action will unfold before dawn Monday. No matter where, the preshow will begin two hours earlier.

There won't be another total lunar eclipse until 2018.

This eclipse marks the end of a tetrad, or series of four total lunar eclipses set six months apart. This series began in April 2014.

The 21st century will see eight of these tetrads, an uncommonly good run. From 1600 to 1900, there were none.

Observatories are marking the celestial event with public telescope viewing, although magnifying devices won't be necessary; the eclipse will be easily visible with the naked eye. Astronomers are urging stargazers to simply look to the east.

In Los Angeles, Griffith Observatory also will serve up Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" on the piano and other moon-themed music.

NASA will provide a live video feed of the entire eclipse—an option in case clouds obscure your own view.


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Supermoon plus eclipse equals rare sky show Sunday night (Update)

More information: NASA: www.nasa.gov/

© 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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User comments

Sep 27, 2015
So tell me Yanks.
What is the political angle on this story.? It's it a liberal or conservative event? Do you approve? Is this a beat up to deprive you of your liberties or your taxes? Has Al Gore set this conspiracy to defraud you while you look at the non existent moon?
Hurry please, context is everything. I'm lost without your interpretation to guide me.

Sep 27, 2015
This comment has been removed by a moderator.

Sep 27, 2015
When a full or new moon makes its closest approach to Earth, that's a supermoon.


No, that's perigee. "Supermoon" is a marketing concept.

What? No sponsored content from Slooh?

@egleton The thing with the US now is that you can't even take the mickey out. It's like Sarah Palin- you can't turn into humor what is already finished material. It's impossible to stay ahead of it's naturally being a complete joke. You think I exaggerate? You were trying hard. Guess what? It's even crazier and they're *not* joking. And not fringe either. One of these "elders" got 47% of the vote for President. http://www.thegua...-warning

And as always, docile/Zephir can go fuck himself.

Sep 27, 2015
I doubt he could even manage that. What is it about people that are 100% life losers thinking that when they're trolling they suddenty become geniouses? Can't hold a job as well as a Roma immigrant that doesn't speak Czech or German and cleans bathrooms, but he understands more than most phycists.

The physicists on here will not be doing something more comfortable. If they were you would need to fear for your safety, scum sucker!

Sep 27, 2015
This comment has been removed by a moderator.

Sep 27, 2015
Plague, not enemy. There's a difference between ISIS and ordinary vermin. You're like ants at a bar-b-q. We'll ignore your pseudo science because a) it's the opinion of an idiot with no empirical support- that's pretty much what pseudoscience means, and b) because it has nothing to do with this article.

AGW, you can't take this site seriously. Besides the trolls they're using Adblade! No credible site would run adverts claiming, this refresh, for example:

Men of all ages are getting more out of life by boosting their free testosterone...
These new pills provide unstoppable energy and intelligence. Used by thousands already...
If You Have Gas, Bloating, Constipation or an Upset Stomach Please Watch This...
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For trolls, by scammers...and we get a bit of science reporting in. After translating into idiot-speak.

Sep 27, 2015
I like that. Troll is such an overused word. Might have to start referring to our infestation as locusts. lol Bite me, locusts!

What I don't get is why they just don't start the Tinfoilapedia or The Fat Bastard Reference Guide: Momma's Basement Edition. They could jerk each other off until they work themselves into a stupor. Oh, right. Trolling is about irritating people, first, last and at most every point in-between.

Sep 27, 2015
Such an eclipse is a good opportunity to research various gravitational phenomena (http://www.enterp...pse.htm) - but the contemporary physicists undoubtedly have more comfortable things to do.

It IS happening on a Sunday....
(Day of rest and all that...)

Sep 27, 2015
This comment has been removed by a moderator.

Sep 27, 2015
... you can't take this site seriously...

Especially when the editor chooses a picture of a solar eclipse to illustrate an article on lunar eclipse; tell us physorg, is it going to be an annular lunar eclipse?

Sep 27, 2015
From some of the comments here -
Nice to see bigotry is not just an American trait...

Sep 27, 2015
Just a little OT:
I did a little math on the size ratios of a Solar eclipse. Based on the average distances and diameters of the moon and sun (and figuring to earth surface), the moon is within 1.25% of a perfect size match to the sun. Thats a fairly amazing coincidence.

Sep 27, 2015
Wow!!
The lunar sure brings out the lunatics.

Sep 27, 2015
Wow!!
The lunar sure brings out the lunatics.

Got to keep the loonies on the path.

Sep 27, 2015
Wow!!
The lunar sure brings out the lunatics.

Got to keep the loonies on the path.

There is no dark side of the moon, really. And here is proof:
http://news.natio...ASA-GIF/

Sep 27, 2015
Wow!!
The lunar sure brings out the lunatics.

Got to keep the loonies on the path.

Isn't a loonie, a 2 dollar Canadien coin?

Sep 27, 2015
Wow!!
The lunar sure brings out the lunatics.

Got to keep the loonies on the path.

Isn't a loonie, a 2 dollar Canadien coin?

That's a toonie, a loonie is 1 dollar.

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