THE MOST UNUSUAL MOON OF ALL
(P1) Did you miss the super blood moon on Sunday night? Don’t worry! STARGAZERS and photographers around the world have shared images of the rare, beautiful eclipse.
(P2) People in the United States, Europe, Africa and western Asia viewed the moon on Sunday night or early Monday. The event occurred on the U.S. east coast at 10:11 p.m. ET (2:11 a.m. GMT), and lasted about an hour.
(P3) Here’s what you need to know about the cosmic event.
(P4) What is a super moon eclipse?
(P5) A super moon happens when a full moon reaches the closest point to Earth in its orbit. The orbit is not a perfect circle, so one point, called the perigee, is closest. At this point, the moon is only 225,000 miles from Earth. That’s what makes the moon look about 14% larger and 30% brighter in the sky. A full lunar eclipse occurs when the sun, Earth, and moon line up, with Earth directly between the moon and the sun. The moon, completely in Earth’s shadow, takes on a reddish TINT. A super moon eclipse is what happens when these two events occur at the same time.
(P6) How frequently does a super moon eclipse occur?
(P7) Super moons or lunar eclipses by themselves are not rare. But the two occur together very infrequently. Since 1900, a super moon eclipse has only happened five other times—1910, 1928, 1946, 1964, and 1982. The next one will happen in 2033.
(P8) Why did the moon look reddish?
(P9) The reddish tint was a result of light being SCATTERED through Earth’s atmosphere and cast back toward the surface of the moon. Only light that passed through our atmosphere reached the moon. Since the Earth’s atmosphere traps blue light, it acts like a filter, only reflecting the more reddish light onto the moon. That color can change based on how much dust is in the Earth’s atmosphere during the eclipse.
(P10) The red hue has earned lunar eclipses the nickname Blood Moon. “You’re basically seeing all of the sunrises and sunsets across the world, all at once, being reflected off the surface of the moon,” NASA scientist Dr. Sarah Noble told the New York Times.
If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.
- Briefly summarize the content of the article in your own words.
- Do you enjoy looking at the night sky? Have you ever owned a TELESCOPE?
- In many cultures, it is believed that a FULL MOON makes people crazy. What legends about the moon are told in your country?
- Besides the moon, do you know what the brightest object in the night sky is? (Hint: It is also close to earth.)
- Many romantic songs mention the moon. Why is that?
EXPRESSIONS TO PRACTICE:
What do the following expressions mean? Practice using each expression in a sentence; extra points if you can use it in conversation.
- Full moon