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Total Lunar Eclipse of a Supermoon

By Jessica Bales

An eclipse is a process that occurs when one celestial object slowly passes into the shadow of another celestial object. An eclipse is also a very cool event to watch and draws thousands of spectators from their beds a few times a year.

On September 27th, 2015, a very rare total lunar eclipse of a supermoon will occur.  The next one will not occur until 2088. A total lunar eclipse is when the moon passes entirely through the earth’s umbra (umbra: the fully shaded inner region of a shadow)  A total lunar eclipse is sometimes called a blood moon, due to the red tint of the moon during the eclipse. The red tint is caused by the light from the sun’s rays that illuminate the moon traveling through total-lunar-eclipse-blood-moonEarth’s atmosphere. The earth’s atmosphere scatters more blue light, so the remaining light is red-ish.  This is what causes the moon to look red or brownish.

The eclipse happening on the 27th is also a supermoon. A supermoon is when a full moon coincidences with the moon’s closest approach to the earth. The distance from the earth to the moon is 221,753 miles.  The official name of a supermoon is the perigee-syzygy of the earth-moon-sun system. When one of these moons occur it looks 13% larger and 33% brighter than a regular full moon.

This eclipse will be best viewed in the midwestern and eastern part of the United States. It will begin at 7:11pm and end at 12:22pm CST.