Last night people around the world stood on their lawns and cranked their necks for a look at the big, the bright, the beautiful…supermoon eclipse.
An eclipse is when the earth slides perfectly in between the sun and the moon. What made this eclipse so special was that it was a harvest moon AND a supermoon that was eclipsed!
The harvest moon is basically the full moon that occurs closes to the fall equinox. A supermoon is when the moons orbit brings it closer to the Earths surface. The moon usually orbits about 240,000 miles away from the Earths surface but a supermoon will orbit 220,000 miles away. So the moon appears larger and also a bit more rusty in color!
It was 1982 the last time a supermoon eclipse was observed and even though there will be more lunar eclipses, there won’t be another one with a supermoon until the year 2033.
— Matthew Pace (@DrMatt12News) September 28, 2015
If you missed the eclipse last night, mark these dates on your calendar for future lunar eclipses. It may not be a supermoon eclipse, but to most people’s eye there won’t be much difference.
- March 23, 2016
- February 10, 2017
- January 31, 2018
- January 20, 2019
The peak of last night’s eclipse was at 10:47 pm ET. Unfortunately, when residents of Ottawa went out to see the astronomical event, the trending #supermoon was blocked by thick clouds. Luckily, there were lots of options for watching live streams of the event.
The Slooh Community Observatory network offered live streaming from a handful of continents and even had a stream from Stonehenge!
NASA TV also offered a streaming service which broadcast from the Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama and offered live feeds from:
- The Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles
- The Adler Planetarium in Chicago
- The Fernbank Observatory in Atlanta.
If you’re like me and were a little bummed by not being able to actually SEE the moon, there are a few options in the near future to see some cool stuff in the sky.
- From October 16-30 there will be an Orionid meteor shower. There will be approximately 25 shooting stars per hour.
- From November 15-20 there will be a Leonid meteor shower. There will be about 20 shooting stars per hour.
- On December 14 there will be a Geminid meteor shower peaking. There will be a whopping 100 visible meteors an hour!
Meteor showers might not be as rare, but it can still make your night a little more special. And without the same media coverage, you likely won’t wake up, open your computer and see this: