All cameras were on the sky during Sunday night’s light show as the sun, the Earth, and the moon lined up in a row to form a dazzling eclipse. The rare celestial event not only captured a total lunar eclipse, but it combined with the so-called ‘supermoon’. It was the first time the two events made a twin appearance since 1982. Astronomers say that it will not make another twin appearance again until 2033.
The event occurred at 10:11 p.m. ET and lasted about an hour on the U.S. East Coast. In Europe the occurrence unfolded before dawn Monday. Overcast skies canceled the show for most of the United States, but NASA streamed it live for those who missed it.
A supermoon is said to occur when the moon is in its closest part of orbit to Earth. This makes the moon appear larger to viewers. The supermoon is said to be seen four to six times on average a year. The supermoon on September 28, 2015 presented the closest supermoon of the year.
A lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth’s shadow blocks the sun’s light, which is reflected of the moon. This can only occur when there is a full moon. The total lunar eclipse that was witnessed on Sunday night was able to occur because the sun, the moon, and the Earth were perfectly lined up. This lunar eclipse was deemed special because it was last in the series of four lunar eclipses, spanning two years. Some people refer to the totally eclipsed moon as a “blood moon” due to the red-orange color change once the moon is completely in the Earth’s shadow.
With over 1.7 million tweets, the rare appearance was trending worldwide. The beautiful occurrence brought a very nice treat to the world, and here’s to the next one in 2033!