For the first time since 1982, a ‘supermoon’ coincided with a lunar eclipse on Sunday. Normal total lunar eclipses aren’t rare, occurring every 2.5 years or so. But the supermoon coinciding with lunar eclipse is extremely rare. The next such event won’t occur until 2033. And Sunday’s celestial event didn’t disappoint. Skywatchers from the Americas, Europe, Africa and certain parts of Asia experienced the dramatic event that lasted 72 minutes.
The full eclipse lasted 72 minutes
It was the last opportunity for Americans to witness an eclipse this year. Beginning at 8:11 p.m. ET, the full moon began to dim slightly as it entered the shadow of the Earth. The total lunar eclipse occurred two hours later at 10:11 p.m. ET. While the full eclipse lasted 72 minutes, the partial-eclipse ended at 12:27 a.m. ET on Sept.28.
Supermoon takes place when the satellite is 31,000 miles nearer to Earth at its closest point called perigee compared to the most distant point (apogee). Supermoons appear 30% brighter and 14% bigger in the sky than apogee full moons. And lunar eclipses occur when the Earth comes between the sun and moon. But some light refracted around Earth passes through its thick atmosphere and falls on the lunar surface.
Only five supermoon eclipses occurred in the 20th century
NASA said in a statement, all colors except red are filtered out. That’s why the eclipsed moon appears reddish and is called a “blood moon.” On the other hand, the moon comes between the sun and Earth. People from different parts of the world, including many NASA researchers, shared stunning images of the supermoon eclipse on social media and other platforms.
Supermoon eclipses are so rare that only five such events occurred in the entire 20th century (1910, 1928, 1946, 1964, and 1982). Sunday’s lunar eclipse was the fourth total lunar eclipse since April 2014, according to Space.com. NASA photographers snapped images of the eclipse from Washington DC, Denver, and the New York City.