On the 27th – 28th of September 2015 there was a rare occurrence of a supermoon blood moon. A supermoon is when there is a full moon at its nearest point to Earth, which happens 4 to 6 times every year; it’s also known as a perigee moon, the closest point of any given month. A blood moon can occur when the Earth moves between the sun and the moon; The light refracts through the Earth’s atmosphere resulting in the red colouring. A lunar eclipse can happen between 0 to 3 times a year. On there own these events are not unusual, but it was 30 years ago when they last coincided and it will be a long time before it happens again. It was also a harvest moon, which is the closest full moon to the Autumn Equinox (when day and night is equal.)
Normally it’d be too cloudy or cold for me to be willing to sit out all night to observe such an event, but luckily I happened to be on holiday at the time. I was able to sit out until 3 in the morning quite comfortably on my sunbed. The moon first appeared full and very bright and the patio was amazingly well lit. Gradually the Earth’s shadow moved across the moon, changing it to a dark red circle. It was fascinating to see it for myself first-hand. Afterwards the process would have reversed, but I was ready to collapse into bed by that point.