How to Prepare for Your Supermoon Eclipse Session

How to Prepare for Your Supermoon Eclipse Session

(Johannes Schedler / NASA)

If you didn't already have plans for your Sunday evening, now you do! Tonight marks the combination of two celestial events that, while not terribly uncommon by themselves, will be first seen since 1982 and not again until 2033. A Supermoon occurs when a full moon rotates in its closest orbit to earth, appearing 14% larger than average. Tonight, this extra large moon will dip behind the earth and become obscured in shadow, appearing red during the lunar eclipse. 

How do we watch it? Find a spot with an unobstructed sky view, avoiding excess light, and get comfortable. Bring some blankets, extra layers, a flask of something tasty to warm you from the inside out, and—most importantly—a nice pre-roll of your favorite goods. 

Here's the schedule: while the Supermoon Eclipse will peak at 10:47 pm EDT, the total eclipse lasts an hour and twelve minutes; it starts at 10:11 pm and ends by 11:24 pm EDT. However, you can stretch this session quite a bit longer. The partial eclipse starts at 9:07 pm EDT and ends on Monday at 12:27 am EDT. 

Now, if this session is a bit of a solo mission, think about bringing a camera along with your favorite indica. The moon is going to look impressive no matter your kit, and when better to light up and ponder existentialism than while looking up at one of the most intense moons we’ve seen in decades? You won't be taking photos of the moon appearing in such detail (like those below) without attaching to a telescope or zoom lens, but stitching together the progression is a good method if you have a DSLR or -like settings. 

Grab a tripod, crank down your ISO, and increase the exposure time depending on the totality of the eclipse. Check and Nikon for more information. This guy breaks down the nitty-gritty of f-stops v. focal length and apparent moon size.  

Most importantly, get outside and have fun!