Supermoon Lunar Eclipse Will Have Stargazers Seeing Red - - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |


Supermoon Lunar Eclipse Will Have Stargazers Seeing Red

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(CBS News) (CBS News)

For the first time in more than 30 years, people across the Americas will get the chance this month to see a supermoon lunar eclipse.

The event starts with a supermoon, which is when a full moon coincides with the moon's perigree - the point in the lunar orbit when it's closest to Earth - making the moon appear larger and brighter than usual. Then the supermoon coincides with a lunar eclipse, when the moon passes directly into Earth's shadow.

It is a rare celestial sight for those of us on Earth. And to give us an even rarer view, this NASA animation shows what the event would look like from the moon. (Video posted above.)

In this perspective, a red ring of sunrises and sunsets lines the Earth, casting a rosy glow on the lunar landscape. And with the sun hidden and the sky completely dark, bright stars fill the sky.

Back down on Earth, stargazers can look forward to seeing moon bathed in tints of red. During a total lunar eclipse, the moon often turns a reddish color when it's hit by sunlight bent by the Earth's atmosphere, resulting in a phenomenon called a "blood moon."

A supermoon lunar eclipse is a rare event that has only happened five times since 1900, most recently in 1982. After this month, it won't happen again until 2033.

The supermoon lunar eclipse will be visible throughout North and South America the night of September 27, NASA said, while those in Europe and Africa can see it in the early morning hours of September 28. Unlike a solar eclipse, which is dangerous to look at with the naked eye, experts say it's perfectly safe to watch a lunar eclipse.

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