A celestial show: Sky-watchers see 'blood moon' in total lunar eclipse

  • Reuters, Cape Canaveral
  • Updated: Apr 16, 2014 00:46 IST

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.

A combination of 10 pictures shows the moon in different stages of a total lunar eclipse seen from the Spanish Canary island of Tenerife. (AFP photo)

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 partial lunar eclipse is seen atop an antenna installed on the roof of a high-rise building in Tokyo.(Reuters photo)

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 5:30am EDT (0930 GMT), 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.

The moon glows a red hue over the Goddess of Liberty statue atop the Capitol in Austin, Texas, during a total lunar eclipse.(AP photo)

The picture combo shows the moon before (L), during (C) and after (R) total eclipse over southern California as seen from Korea town, Los Angeles. (AFP photo)

Aerospace photographer William Hartenstein uses his telescope to photograph the lunar eclipse from Los Angeles, California.(Reuters photo)

People wait in line to board shuttle buses that will transport them to the Griffith Park Observatory to witness the lunar eclipse from Los Angeles, California. (Reuters photo)

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