BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The moon may appear nightly, but not usually like Tuesday night.
An alignment of earth, moon, and sun is offering three lunar phases at the same time.
“I think we’ve got a trifecta coming up here,” said Ernie Wright, at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. “We’ve got a total lunar eclipse, that’s happening on a blue moon, which is the second full moon in a month, and it’s also a supermoon, so it’s a little larger than average.”
That’s because the moon’s orbit is elliptical, furthest away at apogee, closest to earth at perigee.
Enough to make the moon 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than a normal full moon.
“Yeah, it’s a beautigul thing,” says Goddard scientist Dr. Noah Petro. “Being able to see such an event as this. All you need to do is go outside, look to the west, and hopefully you’re in a clear space.”
Especially for the total lunar eclipse, which will happen early Wednesday morning.
In Maryland, just the start of the eclipse will be visible because it begins as the sun is rising and the moon is setting.
“For everybody west of the Mississippi, they will see their moon covered by the shadow of the earth. This will turn the moon a beautiful coppery color,” Wright said.
The last time the moon pulled off a hat trick like this was 1982. The next time it happens will be 19 years from now.