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A 'Super Bowl' Of The Sky: Sunday's Supermoon Eclipse

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

The Broncos play the Lions this Sunday. At the same time, there will be a different spectacle playing out above.

JACKIE FAHERTY: It's like the Super Bowl is happening in the sky right now. This is big-time.

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Supermoon meets lunar eclipse. Jackie Faherty is an astronomer at the Carnegie Institution for Science.

FAHERTY: The sun, the Earth and the moon are aligned such that the moon passes into the Earth's shadow. It's a very close-by, total lunar eclipse.

SHAPIRO: Starting about 10 p.m. Eastern on Sunday, you'll see an extra-large, crimson full moon.

MCEVERS: Big because it's in the closest part of an elliptical orbit around the Earth, and red because...

FAHERTY: Basically we like to think of the color of the total lunar eclipse being the reflection of all of the sunsets and the sunrises that are going on on Earth at that time.

SHAPIRO: Blood moons sometimes bring out apocalyptic fears, but Jackie Faherty says it'll be all right.

FAHERTY: It's always a little bit scary when an astronomical body that you're so used to seeing in the sky starts to disappear on you. But it's not going away. It's just a passing into the shadow of the Earth.

SHAPIRO: Nothing to lose sleep over but worth staying up for. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.