The “Supermoon” Lunar Eclipse Is Coming!

Say goodbye to the pope and hello to the dark side of the moon.

Shutterstock.com

Shutterstock.com

Don’t fritter your iPhone battery tweeting away during Sunday afternoon’s papal Mass or the Eagles game against the Jets; you’ll need it to capture the so-called “supermoon” lunar eclipse that will darken skies hereabouts that night. According to Scientific American, this full-moon eclipse is a big one:

As with all lunar eclipses, the region of visibility for Sunday’s blood-moon lunar eclipse will encompass more than half of our planet. Nearly 1 billion people in the Western Hemisphere, nearly 1.5 billion throughout much of Europe and Africa and perhaps another 500 million in western Asia will be able to watch as the Harvest Full Moon becomes a shadow of its former self and morphs into a glowing coppery ball.

Gad, those scientific Americans can write!

September 27th happens to be the day on which the moon is at its perigee, a word we just learned that means “the point in the orbit of an object orbiting the earth that is nearest to the center of the earth,” i.e., as close to the earth as it gets, which is why this is a “supermoon” eclipse. The Big Green Cheese will ease into the earth’s umbral shadow starting just after 9 p.m. and reach total eclipse at 10:11. The total eclipse continues until 11:23, when the moon will begin to slide back into the umbral shadow on the other side.

Weather for Sunday so far is slated to be partly cloudy, but we’re sure Pope Francis will take care of clearing the skies. Should you happen to snap a particularly outstanding moonscape, Scientific American invites you to send it along to [email protected].