Rare Supermoon Lunar Eclipse Is Coming This Weekend


For the first time in 32 years, a "supermoon" is slated to coincide with a total lunar eclipse, USA Today reports.

It's a rare event when you have a full moon and the moon is the closest it can get to earth in its orbit.

Lunar eclipses occur when the Moon, Earth and Sun line up in roughly a straight line, but the Earth is in between the Moon and Sun; therefore, the Moon is in the Earth's shadow.

This is the last total lunar eclipse until 2018.

The total eclipse will be seen in the United Kingdom, as well as in continental Europe, North and South America, Africa and parts of western Asia. The phenomenon, which scientists call a "perigee moon", occurs when the moon is near the horizon and appears larger and brighter than other full moons.

This is also considered a supermoon, when the celestial body is at its closest approach to the earth's orbit.

More specifically, in British Summer Time, the partial eclipse begins at 2.07am as the moon begins to go into shadow.

Stretch out your hand and look at a fingernail; that's about how small the moon will be.

See the  NASA guide to observing the rare event this weekend. Put another way, as Plait adds, "If you were standing on the Moon, it's like you're seeing every sunrise and sunset on Earth all at once", or put even another way, it's like projecting all the crap in our atmosphere on the surface of the moon. It makes sense, then, that people are getting really excited bout tonight's supermoon eclipse.

This eclipse will be the fourth in two years and all have happened on Jewish holidays - and some Christians evangelicals espouse the belief that it signals the end of times. The eclipse will end at 8:23 pm.

And the third feature will account for the reddish tint that earns the title of blood moon.

Texan pastor and author John Hagee says this has only happened three times in the past 500 years and claims it is likely to herald a "hugely significant" world event.