The year (I hope) my son graduates from high school will be the next chance humanity will get to see a supermoon-lunar eclipse, the rare combo of galactic majesty that will grace our skies the night of September 27. So, you know… don’t miss it.
It’s a Sunday night, which means you’re going to have to set your DVR to record The Good Wife, but it will be worth it. The Good Wife isn’t even that good. A supermoon-lunar eclipse, on the other hand, hasn’t happened in more than 30 years, making it inherently greater than any CBS drama based on scarcity alone. So let’s just give up the whole which is better, The Good Wife or a supermoon-lunar eclipse, debate, shall we?
What Is a Supermoon-Lunar Eclipse?
For starters, supermoons are a boatload cooler than The Good Wife… I don’t know why you keep bringing that up. According to NASA, “perigree moon” is the actual scientific term for what we non-scientists call a supermoon. Here’s the full explanation (re-watch the video above if you’re still confused):
Full Moons vary in size because of the oval shape of the Moon’s orbit. The Moon follows an elliptical path around Earth with one side (perigee) about 50,000 km closer than the other (apogee). Full Moons that occur on the perigee side of the Moon’s orbit seem extra big and bright… [up to] 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than other full Moons.
I’d like to skip the explanation of what a lunar eclipse is, because I assume that all of you paid attention in high school science class. But for those that continue to argue the merits of The Good Wife, here’s a refresher courtesy of Space.com: “Lunar eclipses occur when Earth’s shadow blocks the sun’s light, which otherwise reflects off the moon. There are three types… the most dramatic being a total lunar eclipse, in which Earth’s shadow completely covers the moon.”
On Sunday, September 27, just as The Good Wife starts heating up season seven, we North Americans will need to get off the couch and head outside to see the first supermoon-lunar eclipse since 1982 (before I was born). The action will begin around 9 PM eastern, with the total eclipse taking place about an hour later and lasting for more than an hour, according to EarthSky, which put together a complete list of eclipse times across all U.S. time zones.
Don’t worry about Alicia, she’ll sort things out in time. Just worry about finding clear skies for supreme supermoon-lunar eclipse viewing.