Today marks the vernal equinox, more widely recognized as the first day of spring continuation of winter. Albeit most of us woke up feeling dismayed by the sight of more snow, there were actually two other unique celestial events that coincided with the (theoretical) shift of seasons early this morning that proved to be an even bigger treat for the eyes.
A total solar eclipse occurs when the moon acts as a middleman and obstructs our view of the sun. While this incidence isn’t all that atypical and comes about cyclically with the equinox, it’s the addition of the perigee moon or “supermoon” that contributed to today’s rare trifecta of sky happenings. What makes the moon super? When it’s at its closest approach to Earth on its elliptical orbit, making it appear much bigger and brighter than usual. This unique combination won’t take place again until 2034.
Unfortunately, the spectacle was only viewable from the northern reaches of Europe and the Arctic; however, if your inner astronomer wants to relive the action, you can view a live-feed recording of the event that took place from the Faroe Islands here.
Have fun howling at the (new) moon this weekend!
Photo credit esa.int