Supermoon across the Fylde coast

Supermoon from Lytham Windmill
Supermoon from Lytham Windmill

The unusual appearance of a large red-tinted moon across the Fylde coast got people reaching for their cameras.

Gazette photographer Dan Martino caught images of the ‘supermoon’ from Lytham and Fleetwood.

Supermoon from the Eros statue in Fleetwood

Supermoon from the Eros statue in Fleetwood

The moon’s unusual appearance was down to two astronomical events coinciding – something that rarely happens.

It appeared larger than normal due to it being at its lowest point in its orbit around earth, and the colouration was the result of a lunar eclipse.

Tim O’Brien, professor of astrophysics at The University of Manchester, explained why the lunar eclipse coming up is so special.

He said: “There are several lunar eclipses every year, where the earth’s shadow is cast on to the moon making it appear to turn red.

There are several lunar eclipses every year, where the earth’s shadow is cast on to the moon making it appear to turn red

“This happens because the light is reflected back from the Sun and because that light has passed through the earth’s atmosphere all the blue light waves have been filtered out.

“Every year there are two or three of these. They are easier to see than solar eclipse because they are visible from more places on Earth.

“But what is so special about this event is that the eclipse coincided with a time when the moon is at its closest point to the earth, a so called ‘supermoon eclipse’, with the moon looking a lot larger than normal in the sky.

There have only been five of these since the 1900s and the next one won’t be until 2033.”

Supermoon from the pier in St Annes

Supermoon from the pier in St Annes

The eclipse started at 2am, reaching its peak at 3.50am, and ended at 5.30am.

Len Adam, 70, an amateur astronomer who has been observing the night sky since he was 11 years old, took the pictures of the different phases of the eclipse.

Mr Adam, a member of the British Astronomical Association and a fellow of the Royal Astronomical Society, works from his home observatory in Leyland, Lancashire, which is registered with the International Astronomer’s Union (IAU).

He also spends time observing from Andalucia in Southern Spain, which boasts the clearest skies in Europe, and using remote telescopes across the world.

Supermoon from the Eros statue in Fleetwood

Supermoon from the Eros statue in Fleetwood

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Supermoon lunar eclipse: Amazing pictures from around the UK

Chance to see rare blue moon in Lancashire tonight

Supermoon from the Eros statue in Fleetwood

Supermoon from the Eros statue in Fleetwood

Phases of the lunar 'supermoon' eclipse over Lancashire, by Len Adam

Phases of the lunar 'supermoon' eclipse over Lancashire, by Len Adam