Tonight’s Harvest Moon will be the last Supermoon of the year


Important Takeaways:

  • Starting Thursday evening, a brilliant supermoon will be visible in the sky.
  • Supermoons occur when a full moon reaches perigee, or the nearest point to Earth on its elliptical orbit around our planet.
  • Since it’s occurring close to this year’s autumnal equinox on Sept. 23, it’s also known as a harvest moon.
  • Historically farmers harvesting their summer-grown crops were helped by the bright moonlight shining shortly after sunset

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Supermoon delights world’s star gazers in full moon, eclipse combination

The rising supermoon is seen over the church of Saint-Hilaire in the village of Saint-Fiacre-sur-Maine near Nantes, western France November 14,

By Patrick Johnston

SYDNEY (Reuters) – From Beijing to Berlin, star gazers around the world admired the supermoon – the largest, brightest full moon in nearly seven decades – as it made its way across the skies on Sunday and Monday.

In Australia, some sky-watchers climbed to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge to get a closer view of the moon as it ducked between the clouds over the city. Astronomers said it was closer to Earth than at any time since 1948.

The supermoon, also known as a blood moon, was produced when the shadow of Earth cast a reddish glow on the moon, the result of a rare combination of an eclipse with the closest full moon of the year.

For more than an hour on Sunday night and early on Monday morning, Earth’s shadow blanketed the full moon as the planet passed between the sun and the moon.

The brilliant white glow of the moon slowly transformed into a dim red, a coloring caused by Earth’s atmosphere scattering sunlight into the shadow.

“I think the last time I can remember this sort of (activity) is when I was very small, when Hale-Bopp came. Back then my parents took me (to watch),” said Hsieh Wei-Ting, 36, who lined up with scores of people in Taipei to look at the moon through telescopes in the Taiwanese capital. “It was like climbing a mountain to look at the stars.”

People set up their cameras as they wait for the supermoon in Madrid, Spain

People set up their cameras as they wait for the supermoon in Madrid, Spain November 14, 2016. REUTERS/Sergio Perez

In New York City, the Chrysler Building lit up when the supermoon set behind the Art Deco-style skyscraper, and photographers captured the moon rising over the U.S. Capitol dome in Washington D.C.

In Boston, real estate agent Jamie Iacoi filmed video from his roof deck on Sunday.

“At one point, the planes were flying right through the middle of the moon. It was so cool to see in person,” Iacoi said.

Spectators lined up in France, Israel and Germany to watch the moon rise behind famous monuments like the Eiffel Tower, Dormition Abbey, and the Brandenburg Gate.

The full moon also shone over Jakarta in Indonesia and Thailand’s Bangkok while in the Philippines, park-goers watched the spectacle in Manila.

The next supermoon-lunar eclipse combination will not happen until 2033.

(Reporting by Reuters TV; Writing by Patrick Johnston in Singapore and Melissa Fares in New York; Editing by Bernadette Baum)

Last Supermoon of the Year Takes Place Tonight

Tonight will be the last time stargazers can enjoy a supermoon for the year 2015.

In fact, if you miss tonight’s supermoon, you will not be able to see one again until October of 2016, almost a whole year away. A supermoon is when the moon is at its closest point to Earth in its monthly orbit, making it look bigger and brighter.

Science World Report states that this year’s lunar activity has been unusual due to us seeing three supermoons in a row. They also report it’s very unusual that last month’s supermoon happened to be at the same time as the full lunar eclipse.

Tonight’s supermoon will be the 6th supermoon of 2015.

Rare Astronomical Event Gives Stargazers a Show Sunday Night

People around the world stepped outside of their homes or near their windows to catch a glimpse of the rare supermoon lunar eclipse that took place Sunday night.

CNN featured a video of Christians in Jerusalem gathering outside for the event. Praises were sung, prayers were said, and a shofar was blown during the full eclipse of the moon.

A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon enters Earth’s shadow, which often turns the mood a blood red color. A supermoon is when the moon is at its closest point to Earth in its elliptical orbit. This makes the moon appear 14% bigger and brighter than normal.

The last time there was a supermoon eclipse was 1982, and it will not happen again until 2033.

Sunday’s lunar eclipse was also the final eclipse in the blood moon tetrad. Previous tetrads have occurred in key years of Jewish history, including 1492 when the Jewish people were banished from Spain, and another took place in 1948, the year of the Arab-Israeli war.

Rare Supermoon Eclipse Will Occur Sunday

What was already going to be a rare event with the closing of the blood moon tetrad, has turned into an even rarer occasion as stargazers will not only see a lunar eclipse but also see a supermoon on Sunday night.

A supermoon is when the moon is at its closest approach to Earth in its normal orbit. It will appear 14% bigger and 30% brighter and is approximately 31,000 miles closer to Earth. A normal total lunar eclipse occurs when the sun, Earth, and the moon align, causing the moon to completely be in Earth’s shadow. According to NASA, having both a total lunar eclipse and a supermoon occur means that the moon will be at its darkest and its brightest in 2015.

While normal lunar eclipses can be seen about every 2.5 years, a super moon and lunar eclipse combination hasn’t been seen in 33 years, and another won’t occur until 2033.

According to Nature World Report, the best time to enjoy a full supermoon is shortly after the moon rises above the horizon. On September 27, at approximately 8:11 p.m. Eastern Time (EDT), the moon will begin to dim from the eclipse. NASA officials report the total eclipse will start at 10:11 p.m. EDT and it will last 72 minutes. Those in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, western Asia, and eastern Pacific Ocean regions will be able to see the eclipse.

No equipment will be needed to view Sunday’s astronomical event. Experts have reported that everything will be able to be seen with the naked eye.