Breaking down the supermoon lunar eclipse

(Photo: Travis Wise/Flickr Commons)

(WTNH) — The night of September 27, 2015, will not be like any other night for residents across much of North and South America. It will feature a lunar eclipse, supermoon and harvest moon all at the same time.

The moon that night will be the first full moon in September, and also is the full moon that occurs closest to the autumn equinox. That is why is gets the name Harvest Moon. It also is referred to as the Full Corn Moon. The Native Americans named it this because it marked when corn was supposed to be harvested.

The full moon on the night of September 27 also will be considered a supermoon. But what is a supermoon? It’s a new or a full moon that occurs when Earth is at its closest point in orbit, or perigee.

Supermoons typically have larger than usual tides and could sometimes appear bigger in size. The moon will appear 14 percent larger and 30 percent brighter than an apogee moon – when the moon is furthest away. The moon actually will be 31,000 miles closer to earth. The moon may appear brighter and more orange shortly after sunset.

After sunset around any full moon in any month, the moon always will appear near the horizon and usually will have an orange tint. This is because you are viewing it through a great thickness of atmosphere when it’s close to the horizon. When looking toward the horizon, blue light will be scattered and will allow red light to pass through your eyes.

Supermoons are not all that rare. In total, there were six supermoons in 2015. But what makes this night so rare? This all comes at the same time as a total lunar eclipse. The last time this happened was 1982. The total lunar eclipse will be visible for most of North and South America.

Partial umbral eclipse begins: 9:07 p.m. EDT on September 27
Total eclipse begins: 10:11 p.m. EDT
Greatest eclipse: 10:47 p.m. EDT
Total eclipse ends: 11:23 p.m. EDT
Partial eclipse ends: 12:27 a.m. EDT on September 28

If you capture an amazing view of the supermoon lunar eclipse, shoot us an email with your picture to and we may show it online and on air.

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