WATCH: Total lunar eclipse comes with supermoon bonus

2019-01-21 12:37
The totally eclipsed moon glows with a reddish color against the background stars. (Johnny Horne via AP)

The totally eclipsed moon glows with a reddish color against the background stars. (Johnny Horne via AP)

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The only total lunar eclipse this year and next came with a supermoon bonus.

On Sunday night, the moon, Earth and sun lined up to create the eclipse visible throughout North and South America where skies were clear. There won't be another until 2021.

It was also the year's first supermoon, when a full moon appears a little bigger and brighter thanks to its slightly closer position.

Skywatchers howled at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles when the full lunar eclipse appeared and our celestial neighbour was bathed reddish-orange during a Super Blood Wolf Moon.

"Amazing. As you can see, it's a party atmosphere and everyone is just enjoying the spectacle," said Rosalind Von Wendt from Los Angeles.

More than 1 500 people gathered at the observatory near the city's famous Hollywood sign to watch the eclipse.

However, not everyone got to watch the cosmic show, with lunar eclipse parties cancelled elsewhere because of a flash freeze across the central and northeastern United States.

The best viewing of the one-hour total eclipse was from North and South America, with as many as 2.8 billion people able to see it from the Western Hemisphere, Europe, West Africa and northernmost Russia.

The entire eclipse took more than three hours. Totality – when the moon's completely bathed in Earth's shadow – lasted an hour.

During a total lunar eclipse, the eclipsed, or blood, moon turns red from sunlight scattering off Earth's atmosphere.

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