Total lunar eclipse arrives this weekend

Published: Wednesday, September 23, 2015 @ 11:07 AM
Updated: Friday, September 25, 2015 @ 3:34 PM


            WHIO Chief Meteorologist Eric Elwell describes Sunday's super moon total eclipse, a very rare lunar event that will last three hours in the evening.
WHIO Chief Meteorologist Eric Elwell describes Sunday's super moon total eclipse, a very rare lunar event that will last three hours in the evening.

Skywatchers on Sunday will enjoy a total lunar eclipse and Supermoon, when the moon makes its closest approach to Earth and appears largest in the sky.

During a lunar eclipse, the moon passes into Earth’s shadow but it doesn’t completely go dark. That’s because the sun’s light is refracted and scattered forward through our atmosphere and onto the moon’s surface, StormCenter 7 Chief Meteorologist Eric Elwell said. Red light scatters least, so the moon often takes on a striking dull red or copper color during a total lunar eclipse.

The Sunday, Sept. 27, eclipse will be the fourth and last eclipse of a tetrad, a series of four consecutive total lunar eclipses over two years. The first three were on April 15 and Oct. 8 in 2014, and April 4, 2015.

Content Continues Below

During this final eclipse of the tetrad, the moon will appear nearly 14 percent larger than the total lunar eclipse of April 4, 2015, which occurred when the moon was furthest from Earth. The April 4 eclipse lasted less than 5 minutes, but this weekend’s Supermoon eclipse will last some 72 minutes, reaching totality at 10:47 p.m.

Some call the reddened full moon at eclipse a Blood Moon. Since this eclipse occurs at a Supermoon, some may no doubt call this a Blood Supermoon. Whatever you call it, this will be an event to remember, Elwell said.