A Big Night for the Moon

Author: Beth Ruggiero-York

We have an important night coming, or rather, the moon has an important night coming. On September 27-28, the full moon will be at its perigee when it rises – perigee is when the moon is at its closest point to earth in its orbit – making it appear larger. It’s a “supermoon.” And if you are in North or South America, Europe, Africa, or the Middle East, you get a bonus, a BIG bonus. The full moon, earth, and sun will be aligned. In other words, a full lunar eclipse! As the three align into total eclipse, the moon moves into the shadow of the earth and takes on a dramatic copper-colored glow.

A Big Night for the Moon

Depending on where you are on earth, the times of the eclipse stages will be different. I will give the times in Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and let you do the conversion (e.g., Arizona is GMT minus 7 hours, so for Arizonans, the eclipse will occur on September 27th).


Lunar Eclipse Stage Time (GMT)

September 28, 2015

Penumbral eclipse begins 12:11 AM
Partial eclipse begins 1:07 AM
Total eclipse begins 2:11 AM
Peak total eclipse 2:47 AM
Total eclipse ends 3:23 AM
Partial eclipse ends 4:27 AM
Penumbral eclipse ends 5:22 AM

If the skies are clear or even partly clear where you live, don’t miss this rare show. The next full lunar eclipse won’t happen again until January of 2018.

Keep an eye out for a future post with Beth’s recommendations for photographing the eclipse. Stay tuned!

For answers to all your questions about night photography, check out her new book, Fun in the Dark: A Guide to Successful Night Photography.

Beth Ruggiero-York  is an instructor for Arizona Highways Photo Workshops.