Last night’s super blue blood moon and total lunar eclipse are as rare as they sound. In case you are not fully up-to-date with your astronomy terminology: this was the first “blue moon” of 2018, meaning that it was the second full moon of January. It was also one of three “supermoons” happening this year. This means that the moon was at the point in its orbit when it is closest to the Earth, appearing 14% bigger and 30% brighter to observers. Finally, the moon crossed through Earth’s shadow during the already uncommon event, also known as a total lunar eclipse. As the Moon perfectly aligned with the Earth and the Sun, it turned a reddish color from red sunbeams peaking around the edges of the Earth.
The last time this trifecta of lunar events happened over the western hemisphere was 152 years ago. While most of Europe, Africa, and South America missed the Earth’s shadow obscuring the oversized off-color moon, countless amateur and professional photographers stayed up late — or woke up early — to capture this cosmic event.
Of course, NASA was totally geeking out about the whole thing and captured an unedited timeline of the super blue blood moon during its eclipse.
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