Rare Celestial Event: ‘Supermoon’ Coinciding ‘Lunar Eclipse’

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The occurrence of Supermoon is evident when a full or new moon coincides with a Moon that is nearing its minimum distance (perigee) to Earth.  The Moon is in the closest part of its orbit to Earth, meaning it appears larger in the sky.

The Lunar Eclipse made the moon appear in red color and was visible in North America, South America, West Africa and Western Europe.

The Supermoon:

  • This phenomenon was previously observed in 1982 and won’t come again until 2033.
  • The coincidence between a supermoon and an eclipse means that Earth’s lone companion is expected to look 7-8% bigger.
  • The skywatchers saw a partial eclipse in the western half of North America, the rest of Europe and Africa, the Middle East and South Asia.
  • On Sunday evening, the eclipse was visible in North and South America.
  • In the early hours of Monday, the observers from the UK saw the Moon passing through the Earth’s shadow.
  • The eclipse began at 00:11 GMT, when the Moon entered the lightest part of the Earth’s shadow, known as the penumbra and adopted a yellowish colour.
  • At 02:11 GMT the Moon completely entered the umbra and the point of greatest eclipse occurred at 02:47 GMT, the Moon was closest to the centre of the umbra.
  • The eclipse ended at 05:22 GMT.

Eclipse Facts:

  • The supermoon, where Earth’s satellite is near its minimum distance from our planet, means that the Moon will appear 7-8% larger in the sky.
  • The moon may look rust-coloured during a total lunar eclipse – giving rise to its nickname Blood Moon.  This colour is because the Earth’s atmosphere scatters blue light more strongly than red light, and it is this red light that reaches the lunar surface.
  • During the eclipse, the Moon lies in front of the stars of the constellation Pisces.

Dr Robert Massey, deputy executive director of the UK’s Royal Astronomical Society, expressed that the Eclipse is an “incredibly beautiful event”.

BBC Credit Link

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