Seeing the Supermoon Lunar Eclipse

Seeing the Supermoon Lunar Eclipse

Several conditions are aligning to create a spectacle in the skies.

Eyes will be on the skies Sunday night, for a rare celestial event.
What it is being referred to as may sound like something ripped from a superhero comic book: The supermoon lunar eclipse.

Astronomer Dr. Jim Sowell from the Georgia Tech School of Physics explains what you’ll be able to see with the naked eye.

“A curved shadow moving slowly across the moon. A lot of people think that the moon goes through phases because it’s going into the earth’s shadow, but that’s not the case. The only time the moon goes into the shadow is during an eclipse,” he explains.

So what makes this eclipse even more super?

“The moon’s orbit is not exactly circular,” Dr. Sowell says. “There are times in the moon’s orbit where it’s a little bit closer to the earth.”

This eclipse is happening at time when the moon is nearest to earth, making it appear larger and brighter.

There is another nice thing about this eclipse in particular. It’s happening early enough in the evening that many people will be able to see it. Because of the earth’s alignment the Eastern Unites States is in prime position for viewing. That puts Georgia and Atlanta on the front row.

Dr. Sowell gave us this approximate timing:
9:07 pm: Eclipse begins.
10:11 pm: Moon moves into totality, being completely covered by earth’s shadow.
around 11:30 pm: Moon will begin moving out of shadow.
around 12:30 : Eclipse ends.

Georgia Tech’s School of Physics will host a viewing event Sunday evening open to the public on Tech Green. They will bring a variety of telescopes and point them towards the skies to offer an up-close and in-depth look at the supermoon eclipse.

Media