Normally, the fall of night on a Sunday signals nothing more than the impending doom of heading back to work the following morning. This past Sunday, September 27, however, held a little something special and all you had to do is look up.
The first full moon of the fall is known as a ‘harvest moon’ or ‘supermoon’ due to the fact that it is typically ~30% brighter and appears ~15% larger than full moons from the rest of the year. In a rare occurrence, this year’s ‘harvest moon’, that annually signifies the start of the harvesting season, was illuminated in a way that has not been seen for 30 years, and won’t be seen again for nearly 20 years into the future. Not only was Sunday evening’s supermoon larger than normal, it was also undergoing a total lunar eclipse event immediately upon rising. Once fully in the shadow of the Earth, Sunday’s supermoon also illuminated bright red. This is commonly known as a ‘blood moon’. Unlike most lunar events, Sunday’s total lunar eclipse of a blood- supermoon (what a mouthful!) also occurred immediately upon moonrise, rather than well after midnight or during the wee hours of the morning. Because of this, Sunday’s heavenly event was seen, and subsequently photographed, by millions around the world. Check out a few of our favorites, below.
The lunar eclipse supermoon of September 28, 2015 as seen over München, Germany. Credit: Folke Ashberg - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons.
September 28, 2015: lunar eclipse of the supermoon as seen over Colorado State Capitol. Denver, Colorado. Credit: Bill Ingalls
September 28, 2015: lunar eclipse of the supermoon as seen over Washington Monument. Washington, DC. Credit: Aubrey Gemignani
To further drive home the rarity of this event, the last time a total lunar eclipse occurred during a harvest-, blood-, and supermoon was way back in 1982. The next won’t occur until October 8, 2033. In fact, despite there being four total lunar eclipses in the past two years, the next total lunar eclipse will not occur until January 31, 2018. Unlike Sunday’s event, the next total lunar eclipse will occur while most are sleeping. According to NASA, the January 31, 2018 eclipse will occur at nearly 4am. By that time, the kiddos observing Sunday’s event will be old enough to stay up for the 2018 event, if they wish. Or they may even be too old to stay up that late (like this author). Either way, observance of the next total lunar eclipse will be sparse, making Sunday’s event a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for most.
If you were one of the unfortunate few who missed the rare lunar event, be sure to check out the incredible time lapse video from Brian Abeling, below.
EcoSmart Designs has long been a company of unabashed stargazers. From Angels to the Zodiac, EcoSmart’s beautiful, handmade pewter jewelry includes a large array of celestial styles and zodiac jewelry designs. All handmade jewelry is manufactured in the USA. EcoSmart designs also proudly offers custom jewelry casting if you wish to commemorate Sunday’s total eclipse of a supermoon in your own way.