Rare supermoon eclipse happening late Sunday night

(Courtesy of NASA)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – For the first time in more than 30 years, you’ll be able to witness a supermoon and a total lunar eclipse.

According to NASA, it’s happening late Sunday night, Sept. 27, across the United States and much of the world.

“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,” said Noah Petro, deputy project scientist for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

Courtesy: NASA
Courtesy: NASA

“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.”

That means the moon will appear about 30 percent brighter and 14 percent larger.

“There’s no physical difference in the moon,” Petro said. “It just appears slightly bigger in the sky. It’s not dramatic, but it does look larger.”

The lunar eclipse will then “put on a great shower,” lasting about an hour.

Earth’s shadow swallows up the moon as it comes between it and the sun.

The last supermoon and lunar eclipse combination occurred in 1982 and the next won’t happen until 2033.

“That’s rare because it’s something an entire generation may not have seen,” said Petro.

Click here to read more from NASA, or watch their video explanation of the rare event below.

Copyright 2015 WKRN. All rights reserved.

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