supermoon lunar eclipse

Rare supermoon lunar eclipse to rise over Toronto skies

A supermoon full lunar eclipse will be visible above Toronto on September 27 for the first time since 1982. While supermoons are a fairly regular phenomenon, supermoon lunar eclipses are rare: there have been only five since the dawn of the 20th century.

A total lunar eclipse happens when the moon passes directly into the earth's shadow. Many refer to this a blood moon because sunlight reflecting off earth's surface gives the moon a reddish tint.

This lunar eclipse is supposed to be especially stunning because the moon will be in perigee, meaning it'll be at its closest point in relation to earth (still 384,600 km away) in its elliptical orbit. These so-called supermoons appear up to 14 percent larger than usual.

Some have gone so far to predict that the upcoming celestial event signals the Apocalypse. If you happen survive doomsday, however, be sure to look up at around 9:07 p.m because that's when the eclipse starts.

Unlike meteor showers, you'll actually be able to see this celestial event in Toronto. The eclipse will peak at around 10:47pm, so if you want to watch the whole astrological show, you should get comfortable in a spot that gives you a clear view of the sky. The total eclipse will end at 11:23pm (though a partial eclipse will remain until 12:27am).

If you want to take in this rare celestial event with fellow skywatchers, head to U of T's
Dunlap Institute for Astronomy & Astrophysics (50 St. George St.) on September 27th. Astronomers there are hosting a viewing party to mark the occasion, complete with tutorials and other activities (tip: bring a flask).

Let's hope for clear-ish skies because according to NASA, the next one won't happen until 2033.

Correction: An earlier version of this post stated that the lunar eclipse viewing party was at the David Dunlap Observatory, when it is in fact at U of T's downtown campus. We apologize for the error.

Are you excited for the supermoon lunar eclipse? Let us know in the comments.

Photo by swilton in the blogTO Flickr pool.


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