GREENBELT (Maryland), Sept 21, 2015:
Stargazers are getting ready for an extremely rare astronomical highlight of the season: a total lunar eclipse and a super moon that will happen simultaneously, reported Russian new portal RT.
The stunning show will be visible to the naked eye of skywatchers, and will start next Sunday, Sept 27, between midnight and 1am GMT on Monday.
RT reports that the super moon, or a perigee full moon, will seem 14% bigger, 30% brighter and fuller than usual. It happens because the moon will be at its closest point in its orbit around the Earth.
Because the orbit of the moon is not a perfect circle, the moon is sometimes closer to the Earth than at other times during its orbit. When the moon is farthest away it’s known as apogee, and when it’s closest it’s known as perigee.
On Sept 27, we’re going to have a perigee full moon — the closest full moon of the year,” Noah Petro, deputy project scientist for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter at Nasa’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, said, as quoted in the Nasa press release.
At perigee, the moon is about 50,000 kilometers closer to Earth than at apogee.
Moments after the super moon, the Earth will start to move between the sun and the super moon, finally casting a complete shadow, reports RT.
The total lunar eclipse will start at 2am GMT on Monday and will end at 3:23 GMT on Monday.
The next super moon and a total lunar eclipse combination is only set to happen in 2033.