Pull up a chair and get cozy for a night of spectacular proportions this Sunday! Across North America the night sky will show a “comic ballet” where you will be able to see a lunar eclipse. The moon will travel across the sky that will create a lunar eclipse unseen since 1982 and not to be seen again until 2033.
A lunar eclipse like this one has only occurred five times since 1900. It has been named a “super moon.” It has been given the name super because of it is a moon in perigee- or the closest it will come to Earth in its orbit around the planet. The perigee is a monthly occurrence, however, Sunday’s perigee will mark the closest perigee of the year. According to Alan MacRobert, senior editor of Sky and Telescope Magazine, the moon will only be about 221,735 miles from Earth. “During this perigee the moon will appear 14 percent larger than the smallest full moon,” as stated by the deputy research scientist for NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, Noah Petro.
“This is a spectacular thing that anybody can go out and watch,” said MacRobert. “Something like this can elevate your point of view, take us out of our busy ant hill lives and make us realize that there is a big universe out there with a lot going on that has nothing to do with us.”
So, this lunar eclipse will be incredibly special because two things are happening simultaneously. The moon will be in eclipse, will be in perigee and will be a harvest moon giving it the appearance of a “blood moon.” The blood moon will be a beautiful, reddish orange hue.
Whether you live on the beach in Hobe Sound or the beach in Miami, or whether you live in the west near Weston, you can enjoy a night beneath the stars to catch a truly astronomical event of the galaxies.