Blood Moon, Super Moon Combine For One Spectacularly Bright Lunar Eclipse This Fall
Moon gazers, mark your calendars. A “Blood Moon” and “Super Moon” combine on September 28 for a spectacularly large total lunar eclipse with the Moon passing Earth at the closest distance all year–just 221,753 miles away.
What makes the September event so exciting for astronomers is the simultaneous eclipse during perigee–marking the fourth and final event in the lunar tetrad sequence of “Blood Moons.” It will all happen at a time when the moon already appears 30 percent brighter and 14 percent larger than normal.
The Sun will line up opposite Earth on September 28. As the Moon passes into Earth’s shadow it will loom larger than at any other point in the year, while also taking on the signature blood-red glow that gives eclipses their now popular nickname, Blood Moon.
The moment of full eclipse should begin just after 7 p.m., with the maximum eclipse at 7:47 p.m. By 10:22 p.m., TimeandDate.com reports the last rosy glow of earth’s shadow will fade from the Moon’s glow.
Because it’s a Blood Moon and a Super Moon, stronger tides will also accompany the celestial phenomenon as the gravitational tug of the Moon strengthens the closer it gets to Earth.
That marks the sixth Super Moon orbit or “perigee” of the year, with the fifth just a few weeks earlier, August 29, according to EarthSky.org.
February 18 was the second closest Super Moon of the year, slightly smaller than next month’s appearance.
The “Blood Moon” lunar tetrads, or a series of four eclipses have been written about as the stuff of biblical prophecy or celestial foretelling of coming events.
The last “Blood Moon” came over Easter weekend this past April, occurring on the same night Christians observe the miracle described in the New Testament of Jesus rising from the dead. Many end times ministries and apocalypse preachers like John Hagee capitalize on the interest in the astronomical events, pointing to Biblical references and finding historical events to correlate with the phenomenon.
The September Blood Moon and Super Moon happens to fall on the annual Jewish Feast of Tabernacles or Sukkot, beginning at sundown on September 27, 2015.