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8 amazing photos of the supermoon
Skywatchers had something to howl about on Sunday: a supermoon total eclipse.
The supermoon rises behind Glastonbury Tor on Sept. 27, 2015 in Glastonbury, England. The supermoon, so called because it is the closet full moon to the Earth this year, is particularly rare as it coincides with a lunar eclipse, a combination that has not happened since 1982 and won't happen again until 2033.
By Olivia Kestin and Devin Coldewey
Skywatchers had something to howl about on Sunday: a supermoon total eclipse. Not only was it the best and last opportunity of the year for Americans to witness any kind of eclipse, but this particular phenomenon is extremely rare, happening perhaps five times a century. The last supermoon eclipse was in 1982, and there won't be another until 2033.
Beginning at 8:11 p.m. Eastern (5:11 p.m. Pacific), the moon — currently full and at the closest point in its orbit, making it an extra-large, extra-bright "supermoon" — entered the shadow of the Earth, darkening it until only light refracted around the planet falls on its surface. The redness of this light gives the moon a rusty color, resulting in the nickname of this type of eclipse: a "blood moon."