supermoon lunar eclipse over Vancouver


Image: Wally Barber / Flickr


Stargazers in Metro Vancouver and across Canada were treated to a rare celestial phenomenon on Sunday night: a supermoon that coincided with a total lunar eclipse.

The moon was viewable from the horizon at approximately 7 p.m., two hours after the partial eclipse began. The maximum eclipse and supermoon full moon occurred at approximately the same moment at 7:50 p.m. By 9:30 p.m., the eclipse event was over but the moon was still much larger than usual.

Supermoons occur between three to six times a year and gives the moon an appearance that is 14 per cent larger and 30 per cent ‘brighter’ than normal full moons. A total lunar eclipse occurs up to four times a year, when the moon directly passes into Earth’s shadow and transitions into a red shade of colour.

The next supermoon is on October 27, 2015 while the next full lunar eclipse for Metro Vancouver won’t be until January 31, 2018.

The last time a supermoon lunar eclipse doubleheader took place was in 1982. It has happened only five times since 1910, and it is not scheduled to return for another 18 years.


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