Saturday, September 26, 2015

Super Blood Moon

The confluence of three celestial phenomena happen tomorrow evening:
The last supermoon eclipse occurred in 1982.

Celestial phenomena are predictable because we have studied and understand planetary movements in the solar system.
Nothing comes close to the precision with which physics enables you to understand the world around you. It's the laws of physics that allow us to say exactly what time the sun is going to rise. What time the eclipse is going to begin. What time the eclipse is going to end.
Neil deGrasse Tyson

Blood Moon
source: Anne Dirkse
Full moon

Tomorrow's full moon will be both a harvest moon and a blood moon.

A harvest moon is the full moon that falls closest to the fall equinox, which was last Wednesday.

A blood moons describes the red-tinted moon observed during a lunar eclipse. During a lunar eclipse, sunlight directed around the edges of the Earth refracts through Earth's atmosphere filtering out all but red, giving the moon its blood red tint.


Tomorrow's full moon will be a supermoon, or the full moon in perigee.

The moon orbits Earth in an elliptical path meaning that the distance between Earth and moon varies over an orbital cycle, giving us supermoons and micromoons.

A supermoon compared to a micromoon
source: Friends of NASA

Supermoons occur when the moon's orbital path transports it to the closest point to Earth. Micromoons occur when the moon is at its farthest point from Earth. A supermoon is about 31,000 miles closer to the Earth than a micromoon.
The closer proximity of a supermoon makes it appear 14% larger and 30% brighter.
The stronger gravitational pull of the supermoon causes wider variation in high and low tide levels.

Lunar Eclipse

Tomorrow's full moon will undergo a total eclipse.

Tomorrow night, the Earth will line up between the sun and the moon. The moon will gradually move into the shadow of the earth until it falls into darkness (i.e, a total eclipse).
Lunar eclipse
source: Luca

Under clear skies, tomorrow's lunar eclipse should be visible from longitudes stretching from the eastern Pacific to western Asia, including the Americans, Europe, and Africa.
Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.
Gautama Buddha
The next supermoon eclipse occurs in 2033.