Sky Watch: Fall 2015

Sky-watchers, get set: A double header of lunar events will occur this weekend in an event that won't happen for another 18 years.  A Super Blood Moon Eclipse isn’t the name of a teen novel with glittery vampires but what will occur this Sunday night.

A lunar eclipse will coincide with a supermoon on Sept. 27 at 9:07 p.m. EDT. As the moon will be in its closest proximity to Earth, it will appear up to 14 percent larger. This supermoon, also called a harvest moon due to its occurrence falling at the beginning of the autumn season, will have an extra characteristic.

Known as a blood moon, the moon will pass behind the Earth into its shadow, resulting in a red tint across its surface.  The red portion of sunlight is what makes it through our atmosphere to the other side, bent toward the eclipsed moon, so that even though the moon is within Earth's shadow, the red portion of the sun's light can give the moon this ghostly illumination.

While a range of clouds and storms may prevent ideal viewing conditions in spots across the country, those with clear skies will be able to take in the stunning views with ease.