2-for-1: Total lunar eclipse comes with supermoon bonus

2-for-1: Total lunar eclipse comes with supermoon bonus

By MARCIA DUNN, AP Aerospace Writer

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — 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, which was visible throughout North and South America, where skies were clear. There won’t be another until the year 2021.

 

This combination photo shows the totally eclipsed moon, center, and others at the different stages during a total lunar eclipse, as seen from Los Angeles, Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019. It was also the year’s first supermoon, when a full moon appears a little bigger and brighter thanks to its slightly closer position. During totality, the moon will look red because of sunlight scattering off Earth’s atmosphere. That’s why an eclipsed moon is sometimes known as a blood moon. In January, the full moon is also sometimes known as the wolf moon or great spirit moon. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

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

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.

In addition to the Americas, the entire lunar extravaganza could be observed, weather permitting, all the way across the Atlantic to parts of Europe.

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