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Dual spectacle: Eclipse and Supermoon to take place in coming weeks!

The moon is set to stun in late September as a lunar eclipse and Supermoon will take place within a week of each other.

The eclipse will be visible throughout northern America and best visible at the eastern regions of this area from Sunday 27th September, 2015.  The total eclipse begins at 10:11 p.m EDT. Better yet, during the five hour and 11 minute long eclipse, the moon will have a reddish glow for 72 minutes due to the effects of sunrises and sunsets around the globe.

The following Sunday evening will be host to the full moon of September; also known as the Harvest Moon. This will be the closest and largest full moon to be seen all year. It will be over a year until the moon is as close, on November 14th, 2016.  The moon will be eclipsed on sunday; so you will have to settle for viewing it either Saturday or Monday evening.

A supermoon is defined as a full moon that is closer than 224,834 miles from Earth. These measurements are taken from the centres of the moon and Earth, using mathematical formulae, and not a large tape measure.

Supermoons are between 12 -14 percent brighter than the moon at its furthest distance to Earth, and can also appear as much as 30% brighter than a distant moon whilst ascending our horizon.

On average a given year will have between 4-6 supermoons. This year we will have a total of six, with the last taking place in October. The biggest supermoon will be this month’s, at a distance of roughly 221,753 miles from Earth’s centre.

Keep in mind that whilst solar eclipses still produce harmful ultra-violet radiation that will damage the unprotected eye; Lunar eclipses are entirely safe to watch without need for polarised lenses. 

It is worth noting however, that the exact colours of supermoons vary; so each has a unique hue that is better observed with a pair of binoculars or a telescope.

About Kyran Wilson

Kyran Wilson
Based in London, Kyran Wilson maintains a strong interest in scientific and technological news. In his free time, he enjoys political/philosophical discussion, cinema, mathematics and gaming.