This weekend’s full moon will be far crazier than this Blood Moon seen last year over Lower Manhattan. Photo: Gary Hershorn/Corbis
not since 1982 have we had a full moon this rare. The celestial spectacular will go down on Sunday night (Sept. 27th) and will feature three uncommon lunar phenomena – a trifecta of cosmic awesomeness that won’t happen again until 2033. But for those out there unfamiliar with esoteric moon activity, have no fear. Let’s break down exactly what you’ll be looking at.
Ok, you know this one. It’s when the tides fluctuate drastically and werewolves come out to play. It’s also when the moon is fully exposed to the sun, making the near side of it completely illuminated.
This one is a little tougher to grasp. A lunar eclipse is when the moon passes directly behind the earth’s shadow. It can only occur during a full moon and it makes the appearance of the moon a creepy shade of red, hence the name “Blood Moon.” Many ancient cultures believed that lunar eclipses were the result of demons swallowing the moon; and even today, Blood Moons give people the heebie jeebies.
Don’t freak out. This is the most complex aspect of Sunday’s full moon, but you don’t have to be Neil deGrasse Tyson to comprehend it. The moon rotates around the earth on a lopsided axis. Because it isn’t a perfect circle, there are points when the moon is closer to earth than others. These points are called perigee (closest) and apogee (furthest). Since the moon appears larger in the perigee position, it’s often called a “Supermoon.”
It’s been over 30 years since all three of these lunar phenomena have occurred at the same time. Sunday’s moon is so rare that it doesn’t even have a name. People are foolishly calling it a Supermoon Blood Moon, when the obvious title is a “Super Sunday Bloody Sunday Moon.” And unlike solar eclipses, which are far more rare and elusive, the Super Sunday Bloody Sunday Moon will be able to be seen across the globe. Despite being an awesome star gazing event, Sunday’s trifecta of cosmic activity could be a perfect time for a night surf. The moon gods have answered…now it’s time for a surf sacrifice.