Total lunar eclipse: ‘Blood moon’ phenomenon dazzles skywatchers

A total lunar eclipse, where the moon appears to have a red tint, commonly referred to as a “blood moon,” was visible for the first time in a year Sunday night into Monday morning.

The phenomenon is made possible when sunlight is filtered through the Earth’s atmosphere, giving the illusion that the moon glows red. The spectacle lasted about 90 minutes. It was one of the longest totalities of the decade. Observers in the eastern half of North America and all of Central and South America had prime seats for the show. It was also visible in Africa, Europe and the Middle East. Alaska, Asia and Australia were unable to view the phenomenon

“This is really an eclipse for the Americas,” NASA’s Noah Petro, a planetary geologist who specializes in the moon, told the Associated Press. “It’s going to be a treat.”Before the process begins, the Moon appears its normal color but soon enters its penumbra and umbra stages of the process — where it adopts a pinkish hue — before it turns a definitive red.

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