Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Fall equinox, harvest supermoon plus a lunar eclipse

A stunning photo of the full supermoon from October 2014
What a celestial week it will be across North America. First, fall arrived in the Northern Hemisphere at 4:21 AM eastern time this morning. We have been greeted with another spectacular day to start the new season with the mercury pushing 25C (77F) this afternoon. It will be sunny all week and into the weekend as our record breaking September continues to unfold. When all is said and done this may turn out to be the warmest and brightest September ever for Montreal.

That brings us to another spectacular and rare event that is set to take place this weekend. A full lunar eclipse will occur during the evening of Sunday, September 27th, visible across North and South America, Europe and Africa. It will occur with the moon in perigee, or the closest to Earth on its orbit during the entire year. This is known as a supermoon and this year it will coincide with the full harvest moon as well. The harvest moon is the first full moon that occurs after the Autumnal Equinox. It is already known as a big and bright moon, but this year it is expected to be 15 to 30 percent brighter depending on your location.

Only 5 times in recent history has this type if an event occurred with all the above mentioned factors in line; 1910, 1928, 1946, 1964 and 1982. The full harvest moon will rise at 6:42pm in Montreal Sunday night,  and will begin to dim at 8:11pm. The lunar eclipse will reach totality at 10:11pm. A lunar eclipse is safe to watch, so grab your camera and find a dark location, preferably away from the city lights. The moon will not be this close to the Earth again until November 2016.

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