Blue moon, blood moon, lunar eclipse, supermoon, all on one day this week. Griffith Observatory to host a wee-hours watch party

The blood moon rises during a lunar eclipse over the Griffith Observatory on Sunday, September 27, 2
A blood moon rises during a lunar eclipse over the Griffith Observatory on Sept. 27, 2015. A blood moon and full lunar eclipse will occur early Wednesday.
(Patrick T. Fallon / For The Times)

A blue moon, blood moon, supermoon and a full lunar eclipse will occur early Wednesday. The best place to see it is in western North America, Alaska and Hawaii.

In Los Angeles, you’ll have to stay up late or rise early to catch the big celestial event starting about 3:45 a.m. Wednesday.

The blood moon refers to the reddish or copper tint that happens when the moon passes through the Earth’s shadow during the eclipse.

The full eclipse also occurs “during perigee — the moon’s closest approach to Earth in a single orbit, which means its diameter will appear about 7% larger and 14% brighter than usual, making it a supermoon,” says.


As for the blue moon, that just means it’s the second full moon of the month.

When to watch

Griffith Observatory gives the following timeline for L.A. sky-watchers:

3:48 a.m. The beginning of the eclipse, when the shadow will look like a “bite” out of the moon.


4:51 a.m. Totality begins and the moon is completely covered in shadow.

5:29 a.m. The maximum total eclipse.

6:07 a.m. Totality ends.

Unlike solar eclipses, it’s safe to gaze up at the lunar eclipse with the naked eye. And it’s easily visible without telescopes or other viewing devices. Clouds and fog, of course, may ruin viewing.

SEPTEMBER 27, 2015. IRVINE, CA. The “super moon” is nearly in total eclipse on September 27, 2015(
The total lunar eclipse on Sept. 27, 2015, appears behind the ferris wheel at the Irvine Spectrum Center in Irvine,.
(Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times )

Where to watch

All are invited to watch for free at Griffith Observatory in Griffith Park, which will open super early to Angelenos and visitors who want to see the eclipse. Expect traffic and long walks from your parking spot due to expected big crowds.

Entrances to the park at Vermont and Western avenues will open at 3:30 a.m. The observatory asks visitors not to bring telescopes or lawn chairs. If rain is forecast, the event will be canceled. Info: Griffith Observatory