Rare trilogy of celestial events for Sussex

Partial solar eclipse
Partial solar eclipse
  • Moon will make its closest fly-by of Earth
  • Spring equinox sees equal day and night
  • Partial solar eclipse will darken Sussex skies

As the Sussex skies grow darker on Friday morning due to a partial solar eclipse, two less spectacular celestial events will be occuring to make up a rare trilogy.

A Supermoon and the Spring equinox will also be taking place.

A Supermoon, also called a perigee moon, occurs when the full or new moon is closest to of the Earth, making it look bigger than it normally does.

And the spring equinox is the time of the year when the day and night are of equal duration, mid-way between the longest and shortest days.

The solar eclipse refers to when the sun and moon line up, so that the latter obscures the former.

While it won’t be affected by the two other events, it is rare that these three events happen together.

Most of the time, there are between three and six Supermoons a year and there are set to be six in 2015

The next will take place Friday, the day of the eclipse, and the others will follow in August, September and October.

The equinox will also happen tomorrow (March 20). While it won’t have much impact on how the solar eclipse, it will contribute to this trilogy of unusual celestial events.

The Earth’s axis will be perpendicular to the sun’s rays — which only happens twice a year, at the two equinoxes.

The equinox will happen at the same time as a solar eclipse in 2053 and 2072.