A fantastic spectacle awaits space observers and stargazers all over the United States and much of the rest of the world this Sunday when they witness the fourth and final eclipse of the “blood moons”.
Our beautiful moon will be encapsulated in a total lunar eclipse and will appear “14% larger and 30% brighter,” according to CNN. Known in the science field as a “lunar tetrad”, the eclipse this Sunday will be a treat to behold since we get to see the supermoon as bright as ever before it becomes completely engulfed by an eclipse for over an hour.
NASA says the one hour and 12-minute long display should be visible in Europe, Africa, North and South America, and other parts of West Asia and the eastern Pacific. Skywatchers in the United States can start camping out as early as 8 p.m EST for the partial eclipse but the peak shouldn’t start until about 10 o’clock. This is when the supermoon starts to look as if its being soaked in blood, which is more beautiful than scary if you’re into this sort of stuff.
Don’t worry about going out to buy special eye gears for the event. Unlike solar eclipses, the lunar eclipse will be visible to the naked eye after nightfall and all you’ll need to do is just step out of your house. We suggest probably getting a bottle of wine (preferably red) to celebrate the special occasion because the next supermoon eclipse won’t happen again until 2033.
Noah Petro, a scientist who works for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter at NASA, explains how this special combination of a supermoon and eclipse is just natural planetary dynamics and only affects how the moon looks. It doesn’t change the physical properties of the moon. What does make this Sunday’s event worth staying up past bedtime for would be its tendency to occur only once every three decades, so mark your calendars and set your alarms to make sure you don’t miss it.