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Lunar Eclipse of the Harvest Moon

Description of lunar eclipse on Sep 27 2015.


Rare Total Lunar Eclipse This Sunday Night


A total lunar eclipse is a special event by itself. This Sunday will include two other celestial events which makes this eclipse even more special. During a total lunar eclipse, the full moon passes completely within the shadow of the Earth. When this occurs, the Moon does not become completely dark as one might expect. Instead the Moon will become "blood red." This happens because some of the Sun's light passes through the Earth's atmosphere, where the bluer light is scattered away and the redder light passes through. 


This eclipse is extra special in that it is also the Harvest Moon and a "supermoon". The Harvest Moon is the full moon that occurs nearest the autumnal (or fall) equinox. The name comes from the extra light this full moon would give to farmers during harvest time. The "supermoon" occurs when the Moon is at its closest point to the Earth in its orbit. The Moon's orbit is not a perfect circle, so sometimes it is closer to the Earth than at other times. The difference in the size of the Moon is so small that the human eye cannot detect it. The last time a total lunar eclipse occurred during a "supermoon" was in 1982 and the next one will not occur until 2033.


The Society of Physics Students and the Department of Physics and Astronomy will be hosting a star party with telescopes and binoculars to view this eclipse in the open grassy area to the west of the Student Recreational and Wellness Center. Parking is available in the Kolf parking lot. For Oshkosh, the partial eclipse of the Moon will begin at 8:07 pm. The full eclipse runs from 9:11 to 10:23 pm, with the lead time at 9:47. The partial eclipse of the Moon will end at 11:27 pm. 


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by David Miles last modified Sep 25, 2015 12:06 PM