A special super moon lunar eclipse will occur tonight (Sunday, September 27, 2015) continuing into tomorrow morning (September 28th, 2015), which will create in the minds of some observers an atmosphere of wonder; while in others fear, marking the beginning of the end of our world.
Fear not however, as the last time this lunar eclipse took place was in 1982 and same event is expected to be repeated again in 2033.
According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), tonight’s event requires the alignment of three astronomical cycles that only happens once every 18 years and 11 days.
When the moon is at “perigee”, or its shortest distance from our earth, it is approximately 226,000 miles away. From this distance it will appear to be 14% larger and some 30% brighter than when it was at its furthermost point away from us. It is also during this lunar eclipse, that the moon appears to turn a deep rusty red and this is caused by sunlight being scattered by our earth’s atmosphere.
When can I see this lunar eclipse I hear you ask? Answer; when the moon starts to enter our earth’s shadow at around 1:10am in the early hours of tomorrow morning.
Here in Ireland on other years, tonight’s super moon would normally be referred to as the ‘Harvest Moon’, due to its occurrence falling as it does at the beginning of our autumn season.
Tonight’s astronomical event will require no special equipment and the moon will be fully eclipsed for a little over one hour or from start to finish it is expected to last just over three hours in total.
According to today’s forecast, our weather is expected to facilitate most viewers here in Ireland; wishing to view at least some part of this rare, past midnight, “Blood Red Super Moon” phenomenon.