There’s a lot of hype about the supermoon total lunar eclipse tonight. We’d like to break down the hype for you and give you the simple facts about why tonight is so special.
TONIGHT’S SUPERMOON TOTAL ECLIPSE FACTS:
- The Moon’s orbit around the Earth is a ellipse. Thus, when the moon is closest to the Earth (perigee, or super moon), it appears about 10% larger than it does when it’s at furthest from the Earth (apogee).
- Tonight, the moon will be at it’s perigee (super moon) and it will be directly opposite the sun creating a total lunar eclipse, ie the full moon will go orange and red.
- The last time this happened was in 1982 and it won’t happen again until 2033.
- The moon will appear red, not black tonight. The moon will be blacked by the Earth’s shadow but will be slightly illuminated by light scattering through the atmosphere of the Earth. Long wavelengths (ie red light) will scatter more effectively turning the moon red tonight.
- Tonight’s lunar eclipse will best be visualized from North America and the moon will be fully covered by Earth’s shadow at 7:11pm PST.