Many earthlings were treated to a rare sight last night, as a "supermoon" coincided with a lunar eclipse. It was a bad night to have clouds obscuring the view, as was the case in most of Los Angeles, as the last total eclipse that had these qualities occurred in 1982, and the next won't happen until 2033.
A photo posted by Leslie Kester (@lesliekester) on
But this lunar eclipse ticked many boxes for sky watchers across the world: It was a supermoon, when the moon is both full and in perigee, or close to Earth, making it loom large in our sky. It was also a blood moon (the fourth and final lunar eclipse). And because it occurred days after the fall equinox, this was also the harvest moon.
Did you see it? If not, don't worry: This much-anticipated event inspired many photos.
The entire lunar eclipse took more than three hours to transpire. At times, the moon took on an orange or reddish glow.
Photo @ladzinski / As we are seeing posted all over the social feeds, understandably so, tonight was the #SuperMoon #LunarEclipse. If you were lucky enough to see it I'm sure you would agree that it was absolutely incredible. This photo here is an in-camera #DoubleExposure, which is essentially photographing two photos onto a single frame, all in camera. It's an old film trick and in cases like this the perfect way to create an unusually cool effect. This was shot this evening at the top of #LoganPass in #GlacierNationalPark Montana while here on assignment. Wherever you may be, I hope you got to enjoy this rare and beautiful occasion this evening!
A photo posted by National Geographic (@natgeo) on
Here's how Sky & Telescope senior editor Kelly Beatty explained the effects of light on the moon in a note to NPR:
"Rayleigh scattering is what makes sunsets red, caused by our atmosphere's preferential scattering (not refraction) of blue light. That's where the redness comes from. But refraction (not Rayleigh scattering) is the reason that any light reaches the Moon during totality. So, it's really both things."
Here on Earth, lunar eclipses and blood moons have long been tied to prophecies — and one commenter on our earlier story revealed that they've deciphered a prediction from "both the Mayan Calendar and Book of numbers, as well as historical evidence."
A super blood moon eclipse "precedes the coming of terrible haircuts, regrettable makeup choices, poorly animated and conceived cartoon shows, and leg warmers," announced Scott Finkelstein.
Before you dismiss that prediction, we'll remind you: the last such eclipse was in 1982.
Here are a few more of our favorite images from last night — including one that shows people going on with their lives as the moon did its thing:
A photo posted by Chris Brown (@drchrisbrown) on
regram @nasa It's a #SuperBloodMoon! A perigee full moon, or supermoon, is seen behind the Washington Monument during a total lunar eclipse on Sunday, Sept. 27, in Washington, DC. The combination of a supermoon and total lunar eclipse last occurred in 1982 and will not happen again until 2033. Photo Credit: (NASA/Aubrey Gemignani) #nasa #space #eclipse #lunareclipse #moon #supermoon #earth #nasaebeyond #science
A photo posted by Francesco Serpico (@francesco_serpico) on
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