Vancouver's weather forecast for Sunday (September 27) is sunny and clear.
That's a good thing because a rare supermoon eclipse will be visible in the night sky.
What's a supermoon?
"Because the orbit of the moon is not a perfect circle, the moon is sometimes closer to the Earth than at other times during its orbit," Noah Petro, deputy project scientist for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, explains. "When the moon is farthest away it’s known as apogee, and when it’s closest it’s known as perigee. On Sept. 27, we’re going to have a perigee full moon—the closest full moon of the year."
And what is a lunar eclipse?
"For more than an hour, Earth’s shadow swallows up the moon as the planet comes between the sun and the moon. Lunar eclipses typically occur at least twice a year, and 228 will occur in the 21st century alone," the NASA website states.
The combination of these two awesome phenomena doesn't happen very often.
"But the proverbial stars only align for this event once every few decades, making this phenomenon much rarer than a supermoon or a lunar eclipse separately. The last supermoon/lunar eclipse combination occurred in 1982 and the next won’t happen until 2033," NASA explains.
This supermoon eclipse will last one hour and 12 minutes.
Finally, here's the all-important schedule for Sunday's eclipse, from the Fraser Valley Astronomers Society:
- Umbral phase begins: 6:07pm, PDT
- Moon rise (Vancouver): 6:45pm, PDT
- Totality begins: 7:11pm, PDT
- Mid-eclipse: 7:47pm, PDT
- Totality ends: 8:23pm, PDT
- Umbral eclipse ends: 9:27pm, PDT
Remember to turn your lights out for better viewing!