Rare lunar eclipse to take place September 27

The night of Sept. 27, 2015, will mark a rare event combining a total lunar eclipse and super moon with a blood moon. Get outside to see this remarkable sight.

Sept. 27, 2015, marks a special date in the astronomy world, a super lunar eclipse! Combined with this being the “harvest moon,” a full moon and a “blood moon,” it has all the makings of being a truly rare event. The next similar event won’t occur until 2033 and the last time it happened was 1982. This is only the sixth time for this type of lunar event in the last 100-plus years!

Full moons occur about every 27 days. We can all appreciate the beauty of a full moon on a clear night. A “super moon” occurs when the moon is at its closet location to Earth during it orbit. As a result, the moon will appear 10-14 percent larger. This does not happen regularly and does not always coincide with a full moon. The first full moon closest to the autumnal equinox is referred to as the “harvest moon.” The first day of autumn was Sept. 23. A blood moon happens as a result of the sun’s rays shining through Earth’s atmosphere during a lunar eclipse. Sunlight is filtered, leaving the red spectrum least affected and casting a reddish color upon the moon.

Some astronomers are referring to this lunar eclipse as a tetrad, which is the fourth successive total lunar eclipse without a partial eclipse and with six months between each. This tetrad has some religious significance, indicating that some type of change is to occur.

The best time to view the lunar eclipse begins at approximately 9 p.m. EST when the Earth’s shadow begins to fall on the moon until 10 p.m. when the eclipse is total. The eclipse will continue into the night until 12:30 a.m. when the eclipse is completed.

This lunar event combines five significant moon happenings into one truly rare and unique nighttime display. Michigan State University Extension encourages you to take some time and go outside the night of Sept. 27 to view this amazing spectacle. It won’t happen again for many years to come!

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