Supermoon Lunar Eclipse 2015
Last Updated May 29, 2023 by Tim Trott. First Published in 2015.
A supermoon total lunar eclipse took place between September 27 and 28, 2015. It was seen in the early hours of Monday morning, September 28.
This supermoon lunar eclipse was doubly special being a supermoon - the Moon was at its closest approach to Earth in 2015, making it appear larger in the sky than at any other time in the year. The Moon's apparent diameter was larger than 34' viewed straight overhead.
A lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes within Earth's umbra (shadow). As the eclipse begins, Earth's shadow first darkens the Moon slightly. Then, the shadow begins to "cover" part of the Moon, turning it a dark red-brown colour (typically - the colour can vary based on atmospheric conditions). The Moon appears to be reddish because of Rayleigh scattering (the same effect that causes sunsets to appear reddish) and the refraction of that light by Earth's atmosphere into its umbra.
Here are a few of my photos from this year's supermoon lunar eclipse, you can also see lots more photos in my astrophotography gallery. It was kind of weird watching the termination shadow progress over the surface of the moon, only there were no craters visible. Craters are visible when the Sun casts a shadow over the surface of the Moon, but the Sun and Moon were in direct alignment so no shadows were cast.
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