Next Sunday’s Matchup: Earth’s Shadow @ Moon

If the term “supermoon” gives you delicious chills, how about “blood moon”? During lunar eclipses, the Earth’s atmosphere bends sunlight in a way that often lends the moon a red hue.

Next Sunday night, there will be more to watch than just football! Americans who can tear their eyes away from the Broncos/Lions matchup will witness an astronomical show that hasn’t taken place in over thirty years: a supermoon eclipse.

A supermoon occurs when the moon turns full phase at its perigee–the point of the lunar orbit closest to Earth–making it appear exceptionally large and bright in our night sky. This phenomenon has coincided with a lunar eclipse only five times since 1900.

NASA says the supermoon eclipse will be visible throughout the Americas on the night of September 27 (astronomers in Europe and Africa will have to get up in the wee hours of September 28 to see it). If you miss it, your next chance won’t be until 2033, so make sure you take a break from football and catch the celestial halftime show!

 

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