WARREN, NJ - Warren residents will have front row seats to a rare chance to see a spectacular celestial event on Sunday night that has not occurred for 30 years -- a lunar eclipse with the moon near to its closest point to the earth.
Weather permitting, the total lunar eclipse will be visible from the most of North America and all of South America after sunset Sept. 27.
This eclipse is rare because it coincides with a supermoon, when the moon is at its perigee, or the closest point in its orbit to the earth.
The last time was in 1982 and the event will not be repeated until 2033.
Only five supermoon eclipses have occurred since 1900 - in 1910, 1928, 1946, 1964 and 1982.
A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes within Earth's shadow. As the eclipse begins, the Earth's shadow first darkens the moon slightly. Then, the shadow begins to "cover" part of the moon, turning it a dark red-brown color. The moon turns red during an eclipse because the sunlight is refracted, similar to the way it is bent during a sunset. Red is the longest wavelength our eyes can detect, so during a lunar eclipse the moon appears red because of the Earth's atmosphere, which only lets longer wavelengths of visible light through.
Lunar eclipses are safe to watch without protective wear, unlike solar eclipses.