Photos: ‘Super Blue Blood Moon’ eclipse puts on a show in Southern California
By Ryan Carter
Call it a lunar trifecta.
If you were up gazing at the sky early Wednesday morning, you likely saw three kinds of moon wrapped into one.
On Wednesday, much of the world got to see not only a blue moon and a supermoon, but also a total lunar eclipse.
WATCH THE ENTIRE ECLIPSE AGAIN: Griffith Observatory has the entire eclipse on video
There hasn’t been a triple lineup like this since 1982 and the next won’t occur until 2037.
RELATED STORY: ‘Super Blue Blood Moon’ eclipse wowing Southern California
The eclipse was visible best in the western half of the U.S. and Canada Wednesday morning, and across the Pacific into Asia as the moon rose Wednesday night into Thursday.
A blue moon is the second full moon in a month. A supermoon is a particularly close full or new moon, appearing somewhat brighter and bigger. A total lunar eclipse — or blood moon for its reddish tinge — has the moon completely bathed in Earth’s shadow.
“I’m calling it the Super Bowl of moons,” lunar scientist Noah Petro said Monday from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
Others prefer “super blue blood moon.”
As the sun lines up perfectly with the Earth and then moon for the eclipse, scientists were planning to make observations from a telescope in Hawaii, while also collecting data from NASA’s moon-circling Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, launched in 2009.
Just like the total solar eclipse in the U.S. last August cooled the Earth’s surface, a lunar eclipse cools the moon’s surface. It’s this abrupt cooling — from the heat of direct sunlight to essentially a deep freeze — that researchers will be studying.
Totality lasted more than an hour.
“The moon is one of the most amazing objects in our solar system,” Petro said. “It really is the key to understanding […]