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Supermoon, lunar eclipse combine for rare celestial event

A supermoon rose over Long Beach in Plymouth Bay.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

Stargazers in the state were treated to a rare celestial event Sunday night: a full so-called supermoon combined with a lunar eclipse, which left the moon shrouded in an eerie red glow.

The simultaneous event will not happen again until 2033, and has only happened five times since the beginning of the 20th century, with the last time taking place in 1982.

The Earth’s shadow began to dim the supermoon and turn it red around 8 p.m.; the total eclipse started around 10:11 p.m.

The supermoon is a full moon that appears larger than usual as it makes a close encounter with Earth in its orbit, NASA’s Noah Petro previously told the Globe.


“Because the orbit of the moon is not a perfect circle, the moon is sometimes closer to the Earth than at other times during its orbit,” he said in a statement.

Sunday saw the closest full moon of the year, about 30,000 miles closer to the Earth than the average distance.

There won’t be another total lunar eclipse until 2018. This eclipse marks the end of a tetrad, or series of four total lunar eclipses set six months apart. This series began in April 2014.

A supermoon combined with a total lunar eclipse, as seen from Medford. The events will not happen together again until 2033. Dina Rudick/Globe Staff
A rare supermoon total eclipse, photographed in Plymouth at 10-minute intervals starting at 9:07 p.m.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff
Spectators viewed the supermoon on Boston’s Castle Island.Scott Eisen/Getty Images
A view of the eclipse lunar in Port-of-Spain.Andrea De Silva/REUTERS
The Supermoon lunar eclipse as seen in in Ronda, Spain.Jon Nazca/REUTERS
An Air France jetliner apprached the runway at Tokyo International Airport as the supermoon glowed in the background.KIMIMASA MAYAMA/EPA
The eclipse as seen from next to the London Eye wheel in London.Toby Melville/REUTERS
A surfer caught a wave as the supermoon rose off Manly Beach in Sydney, Australia.David Gray/REUTERS

More photos and social media reports on the celestial events:

Lunar Eclipse, 27 September 2015

ICYMI last night, here is a quick review of the lunar eclipse. While the eclipse lasted 5 hours in real-time, this clip only lasts 12 seconds.

Posted by Mount Washington Observatory on Monday, September 28, 2015

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.