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Sky-watchers see 'blood moon' in total lunar eclipse

By Irene Klotz Tue Apr 15, 2014 6:13am EDT

(Reuters) - 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.

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 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 5:30 a.m. EDT, 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.

NASA Showcases Lunar Eclipse

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Khalil April 15 2014 at 1:04 PM

This article failed to mention that this first occurrence of the blood moon is not the last within a year; it is part of a lunar eclipse "tetrad" series. So, we will see another in 6 months. Umm..........

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Betty April 15 2014 at 8:40 AM

A great view from my bedroom window. Springfield, Mo. Clear sky from beginning to end.

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1 reply
gvfarm Betty April 15 2014 at 8:53 AM

Same here in Kirksville, Mo! It was beautiful!

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1 reply
LADY-M gvfarm April 15 2014 at 9:08 AM

It was beautiful in Boynton Beach, Florida, too! The clearest black sky, beautiful moon and a couple of bright shining stars. It was worth getting up for -- and being tired the rest of the day. When I left for work this a.m. at around 6:00, the moon had moved down and over west and was HUGE., HUGE. What a treat all this was. Glad to hear so many folks enjoyed.

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flameshoter1111 April 15 2014 at 8:18 AM

it was cloudy outside where i was

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2 replies
Joy flameshoter1111 April 15 2014 at 8:25 AM

That always happens to me too.

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theknower1 flameshoter1111 April 15 2014 at 8:41 AM

Was there also a chance of meatballs where you were at?

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1 reply
theknower1 theknower1 April 15 2014 at 9:16 AM

Wow, some people can't take a joke.

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Roseo Family April 15 2014 at 10:22 AM

Too cloudy here in New Jersey. Bummer : (

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julie.frost April 15 2014 at 8:02 AM

Nope. Nothing. Just a lot of clouds. And three inches of SNOW... :-(

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spyder April 15 2014 at 3:30 PM

That was one of the coolest things I've evr seen !!

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JohnBoydStrother April 15 2014 at 10:59 AM

Thank you Mother Nature for a great eye feast last night. I do enjoy viewing something of the unusual.

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Bob & Louise McH April 15 2014 at 10:24 AM

Glad I didn't have to pay to see it.

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gidget6368 April 15 2014 at 12:41 PM

Oregon skies perfect for it early this morning. Beautiful site.

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ae12wrangell April 15 2014 at 11:20 AM

Unable to see it here in NY. Extremely cloudy, with orange clouds.

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