Sky-watchers see 'blood moon' in total lunar eclipse

CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida Tue Apr 15, 2014 8:35am EDT

1 of 5. The moon is shown in eclipse from Los Angeles, California, late April 14, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Gene Blevins

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CAPE CANAVERAL, Florida (Reuters) - Parts of the world saw a rare celestial event on Tuesday when the Earth's shadow fell across the moon, turning it orange.

The lunar eclipse unfolded over three hours beginning at about 2 a.m. EDT, when the moon began moving into Earth's shadow. A little more than an hour later, the moon could be seen eclipsed and bathed in an orange, red or brown glow.

Depending on local weather conditions, the eclipse was visible across a swath of the United States.

Viewers from Florida to California and beyond went to viewing parties and social media and other websites to gawk and share photos of the so-called "blood moon".

A small crowd of stargazers who gathered on a roadside north of Los Angeles saw a sliver of still-illuminated moon and a reddish shadow cast across the lunar orb.

Others who were not so lucky took to Twitter to complain about cloud cover in New Jersey and Pittsburgh. An image of rain-streaked windows under impenetrable Atlanta skies could be seen. In the Pacific Northwest city of Seattle the skies were equally overcast.

The eclipse also was visible from Australia, New Zealand and all of the Americas.

Precise coloring depends primarily on the amount of volcanic ash and other aerosols floating in the atmosphere, SpaceWeather.com reports.

The celestial show was over by over by 5:30 a.m. EDT, NASA said on Twitter.

Eclipses occur two or three times per year when the sun, Earth and the full moon line up so that the moon passes through Earth's shadow.

Tuesday's eclipse will be the last full lunar eclipse visible from the United States until 2019, NASA said.

(Reporting by Irene Klotz in Cape Canaveral, Florida; Additional reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles and Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; Editing by Alison Williams)

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Comments (2)
Lisa2010 wrote:
Thanks for showing the moon for approximately 2 seconds…

Apr 16, 2014 3:44pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
KaFaraqGatri wrote:
It was only called the “Blood Moon” by the press and reporting that in the passive voice is very, very bad journalism when you’re responsible for the phenomenon. It’s highly insulting. It says, “This marvel of nature really isn’t very interesting unless we hype it. Look. It’s looks like bloooood…”. How PUERILE! And it wasn’t. As eclipses go it was fairly bright and not a very deep red.

Science reporting is going so LCD as to be insulting to anyone with a brain, which I guess rules out most of the audience. Every time the moon is 3 meters closer than the previous 6 months we get the repeated “Super Moon” idiotic hype. How pitiful is it that this country has to pander to anti-intellectuals to get funding for basic science? That must be why it happens. As a general phenomenon, anthropomorphizing in articles on astronomy has become ridiculous. You can’t read one sentence without 3 stupid metaphors.

Those metaphors started out aiding understanding to non-technical people. Many of these metaphors now actually obscure the issue or are completely useless. How about a bit of journalistic self discipline? I stopped reading The Guardian because they were so over the top with it. Keep this crap up and you’ll be next.

Apr 16, 2014 8:17pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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