Under the Button is part of a student-run nonprofit.

Please support us by disabling your ad blocker on our site.

It's Lookin' Like the Pope Summoned a Lunar Phenomenon!

Can it be a coincidence that Pope Francis' trip is ending with a historic astronomical event? We think it's because Philly needed something cooler than porta-potties to impress the millions of visitors. Tonight circa 10:11 p.m., the moon is predicted to be subject to a TOTAL (not even partial!) lunar eclipse! And it gets even better because not only will we LITERALLY be able to see the moon ENTIRELY eclipsed, but we are also currently experiencing a supermoon! 

Supermoons (which are excitingly sometimes referred to as "bloodmoons") occur when the monthly new moon coincides with the moon's closest approach to Earth as it cruises around Space on its elliptical orbit. This means that tonight is the night for us earthly mortals to observe the moon at its brightest, largest and clearest! Our lunar friend is also likely to take on a reddish hue which is cool.

This is a rare chance for Penn kids to dangerously venture out onto their roofs to gaze upon the wonder and splendor of a magnificent celestial body that will be within 221,753 miles of us — considerably closer than at other times. This could also be a pretty sweet opportunity to finally sneak into the DRL observatory and fiddle around with the telescopes.