Supermoon total lunar eclipse 28 September 2015: There's going to be a rare totally eclipsed blood moon on Monday morning in the UK

 
Catherine Neilan
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Super-duper moon (Source: Getty)

Set your alarm and get your coffee pots at the ready, people. There's going to be a total eclipse of a supermoon in the early hours of the morning next Monday (28 September).


Budding astronomers are being advised to set their alarms for 2am to catch the celestial phenomenon. The first signs of the earth's deep shadow (or umbra) is due at 2:07am, with the mid-eclipse at 3:50am. It will get good from around 3:47am when a "coppery-red tint" should be at its most noticeable, according to the Nautical Almanac Office.

The show will end at 5:27am.

While you might not relish the idea of getting out of bed that early (or indeed, staying up all night), the fact it is a supermoon eclipse, rather than a common-or-garden moon is making those in the know excited.


What is a supermoon?

It's called a supermoon because that is the period when the moon is closest to the earth during its elliptical orbit, meaning the moon will appear almost eight per cent bigger than the satellite is normally.

Total lunar eclipses that coincide with supermoons are apparently quite rare - there have been just five since 1900, the most recent of which was on 30 December 1982. If you miss this one, you'll have to wait until October 2033 for the next one.
Why is it so rare?
The supermoon eclipse is a confluence of three events: a full moon, which typically occurs about once a month; a total lunar eclipse, which occurs 0-3 times per year, and always during the full moon; and lunar perigee, when the moon is in the part of its elliptical orbit closest to Earth, which happens about once a month.

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