Montreal

Lunar eclipse of blood-red supermoon to dazzle Canadians on Sunday

The sun, the moon and the planet Earth haven't aligned perfectly since 1982, and won't again until 2033, making tonight's total lunar eclipse of a supermoon a particularly special occasion.

Andrew Fazekas the Night Sky Guy says total lunar eclipse of supermoon won't happen again until 2033

A blood red moon lights up the sky during a total lunar eclipse on April 4, 2015. Tonight's moon should look similar, but even bigger. (Phil Walter/Getty)

The sun, the moon and the planet Earth haven't aligned perfectly since 1982, and won't again until 2033, making tonight's total lunar eclipse of a supermoon a particularly special occasion.

Andrew Fazekas, the Night Sky Guy and science writer, said the total lunar eclipse just so happens to coincide with the perigee moon — the one night a year when the moon is closest to Earth, otherwise known as the supermoon.

"What you're going to be seeing is basically the earth's shadow being cast on the surface of the moon, and this happens when the sun, the earth and the moon align perfectly. You get to see the shadow creep across the surface. It takes an hour and a half to happen, and then when the moon enters the deepest part of earth's shadow, that's when it turns that beautiful orangey-copper colour, or sometimes blood red colour," Fazekas said.

Watching the supermoon in Montreal

He said the show starts at 9:07 p.m. ET on Sunday, when the moon will begin to be covered by Earth's shadow.

At 10:11 p.m., the moon will begin turning red — a phenomenon Fazekas said is caused by the way the sun's light is bent by the particles in Earth's atmosphere, causing it to hit the red end of the spectrum. The eclipse should wrap up around 10:37 p.m.

Fazekas said anyone in the Montreal area with a clear view of the moon and the eastern skies should be able to see the eclipse, whether it's from your bedroom window, a rooftop, the Montreal Planetarium or the Morgan Arboretum in Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue — the latter of which is where Fazekas will be.

The various stages of Sunday's supermoon event. (NASA)

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