Tonight's supermoon and lunar eclipse

NOW: Tonight’s supermoon and lunar eclipse

We'll be in for a cool event starting tonight as the moon rises! There will be a blue moon, a supermoon, and a lunar eclipse all occurring tonight, something that hasn't happened since March 31st, 1866, 152 years ago! Unfortunately, we will only see a part of this event. But, you're probably wondering...what does each part mean?

A "blue moon" is the second full moon in one calendar month. The "supermoon" occurs when the moon is closest to the Earth, making it appear about 25 to 30% brighter and 14% larger than normal. The "blood moon" alludes to the lunar eclipse, when the moon turns a reddish-brown color as the Earth blocks the Sun's light from reaching the moon.

We'll see a total lunar eclipse around 7:55 AM Wednesday morning. But, it'll be right on the horizon, so a high, treeless spot will be best.

As far as viewing opportunities go, the supermoon shouldn't be a problem. However, more clouds will be moving through during the pre-dawn hours tomorrow, making the sighting unlikely for most in Michiana.

So, here's the timeline:

  • 5:12 PM -- Moonrise. Look towards the east-northeast for a look at the much larger moon.
  • 6 to 9 PM -- Best viewing window for the supermoon as it rises in the sky
  • 10 PM -- Clouds began to roll in from the north and west. Mostly cloudy skies are, unfortunately, expected afterwards
  • 6:48 AM -- Partial eclipse begins. Moon starts turning red.
  • 7:56 AM -- Maximum eclipse for South Bend. The best time to view if you can find a spot with little cloud cover and clear of trees. Look to the west-northwest at the horizon.
  • 7:59 AM -- Moonset.

The least amount of cloud cover will likely be over the western third of Michiana, meaning that LaPorte, Starke, and Pulaski counties have the best chance to see it. Stay tuned in tonight for another update on sky conditions!

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