Stargazers witness rare event in supermoon eclipse

Supermoon Eclipse Spurs Memorable (and Not So Memorable) Images

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Stargazers were being treated to a rare astronomical phenomenon when a total lunar eclipse combined with a so-called supermoon.

Those in the United States, Europe, Africa and western Asia can view the coupling, weather permitting, Sunday night or early Monday.

Read more special coverage on the phenomenon: Sunday's super 'blood moon' eclipse has conspiracy theorists alarmed

It was the first time the events have made a twin appearance since 1982, and they won't again until 2033.

See incredible images of the supermoon:

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Stargazers witness rare event in supermoon eclipse
A so-called 'blood moon' can be seen behind one of the steeples of the Cologne Cathedral during a total lunar eclipse in Cologne, western Germany, on September 28, 2015. Skygazers were treated to a rare astronomical event when a swollen 'supermoon' and lunar eclipse combined for the first time in decades, showing Earth's satellite bathed in blood-red light. AFP PHOTO / DPA / ROLF VENNENBERND +++ GERMANY OUT (Photo credit should read ROLF VENNENBERND/AFP/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 27: A perigee full moon, or supermoon, is seen during a total lunar eclipse behind The Colorado State Capitol building on September 27, 2015, in Denver, Colorado. The combination of a supermoon and total lunar eclipse last occurred in 1982 and will not happen again until 2033. (Photo by (NASA/Bill Ingalls)
A swollen 'supermoon' is seen during the stages of a total eclipse in La Rochelle, southwestern France, early on September 28, 2015. For the first time in decades, the double spectacle of a swollen 'supermoon' bathed in the blood-red light of a total eclipse can be seen. The celestial show, visible from the Americas, Europe, Africa, west Asia and the east Pacific, will be the result of the Sun, Earth and a larger-than-life, extra-bright Moon lining up for just over an hour. AFP PHOTO / XAVIER LEOTY (Photo credit should read XAVIER LEOTY/AFP/Getty Images)
Reindeer are seen silhouetted against the moon during a lunar eclipse near the village of Yavterishki, some 250 kilometers north from Minsk on September 28, 2015. The combination of a supermoon and total lunar eclipse last occurred in 1982 and will not happen again until 2033. AFP PHOTO / SERGEI GAPON (Photo credit should read SERGEI GAPON/AFP/Getty Images)
INNSBRUCK, AUSTRIA - SEPTEMBER 28: A perigee full moon, or super moon, is seen during a total lunar eclipse on September 28, 2015 in Innsbruck, Austria. The combination of a supermoon and a total lunar eclipse last occurred in 1982 and will not happen again until 2033. (Photo by Jan Hetfleisch/Getty Images)
A swollen 'supermoon' bathed in the blood-red light of a total eclipse is seen in in La Rochelle, southwestern France, early on September 28, 2015. For the first time in decades, the double spectacle of a swollen 'supermoon' bathed in the blood-red light of a total eclipse can be seen. The celestial show, visible from the Americas, Europe, Africa, west Asia and the east Pacific, will be the result of the Sun, Earth and a larger-than-life, extra-bright Moon lining up for just over an hour. AFP PHOTO / XAVIER LEOTY (Photo credit should read XAVIER LEOTY/AFP/Getty Images)
A so-called 'blood moon' can be seen during a total lunar eclipse in Essen, western Germany, on September 28, 2015. Skygazers were treated to a rare astronomical event when a swollen 'supermoon' and lunar eclipse combined for the first time in decades, showing Earth's satellite bathed in blood-red light. AFP PHOTO / PATRIK STOLLARZ (Photo credit should read PATRIK STOLLARZ/AFP/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 27: An eclipsed supermoon is shown on September 27, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. A supermoon occurs when a full moon coincides with its perigee, which is its closest approach to the Earth. A total lunar eclipse and a supermoon won't occur together again until 2033. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 28: The Super Blood Moon is seen during the early stages of the Lunar Eclipse near Big Ben on September 28, 2015 in London, United Kingdom. The Super Moon coincides with a total lunar eclipse, a rare combination that last occured in 1982. (Photo by Joseph Okpako/Getty Images)
BRIGHTON, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 27: An astronomer stargazes ahead of tonight's supermoon on September 27, 2015 in Brighton, England. Tonight's supermoon, so called because it is the closet full moon to the Earth this year, is particularly rare as it coincides with a lunar eclipse, a combination that has not happened since 1982 and won't happen again until 2033. (Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV - SEPTEMBER 27: An eclipsed supermoon rises behind the Las Vegas Strip on September 27, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. A supermoon occurs when a full moon coincides with its perigee, which is its closest approach to the Earth. A total lunar eclipse and a supermoon won't occur together again until 2033. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
GLASTONBURY, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 28: The full eclipse of the moon ends as the moon leaves the shadow of the Earth on September 28, 2015 in Glastonbury, England. Tonight's supermoon - so called because it is the closet full moon to the Earth this year - is particularly rare as it coincides with a lunar eclipse, a combination that has not happened since 1982 and won't happen again until 2033. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
A swollen 'supermoon' is seen bathed in the blood-red light during the stages of a total eclipse above Saint-Michel church in Bordeaux, southwestern France, early on September 28, 2015. Stargazers were treated to a rare astronomical event when a swollen 'supermoon' and lunar eclipse combined for the first time in decades, showing the planet bathed in blood-red light. AFP PHOTO / NICOLAS TUCAT (Photo credit should read NICOLAS TUCAT/AFP/Getty Images)
GLASTONBURY, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 28: An eclipse of the moon is shown on September 28, 2015 in Glastonbury, England. Tonight's supermoon - so called because it is the closet full moon to the Earth this year - is particularly rare as it coincides with a lunar eclipse, a combination that has not happened since 1982 and won't happen again until 2033. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
GLASTONBURY, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 28: The moon enters the maximum eclipse on September 28, 2015 in Glastonbury, England. Tonight's supermoon - so called because it is the closet full moon to the Earth this year - is particularly rare as it coincides with a lunar eclipse, a combination that has not happened since 1982 and won't happen again until 2033. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
This combination of pictures shows the moon in various stages of a total lunar eclipse as seen from Bogota, Colombia, on September 27, 2015. Skygazers were treated to a rare astronomical event when a swollen 'supermoon' and lunar eclipse combined for the first time in decades, showing the planet bathed in blood-red light. AFP PHOTO / Luis Acosta (Photo credit should read LUIS ACOSTA/AFP/Getty Images)
GLASTONBURY, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 27: The supermoon rises behind Glastonbury Tor on September 28, 2015 in Somerset, England. Tonight's supermoon - so called because it is the closet full moon to the Earth this year - is particularly rare as it coincides with a lunar eclipse, a combination that has not happened since 1982 and won't happen again until 2033. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
The 'supermoon' rises on September 27, 2015 in Lausanne. For the first time in decades, skygazers are in for the double spectacle Monday of a swollen 'supermoon' bathed in the blood-red light of a total eclipse. The celestial show, visible from the Americas, Europe, Africa, west Asia and the east Pacific, will be the result of the Sun, Earth and a larger-than-life, extra-bright Moon lining up for just over an hour from 0211 GMT. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - SEPTEMBER 27: The supermoon rises above a man riding a stand-up paddle board off Copacabana Beach on September 27, 2015 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Tonight's supermoon - so called because it is the closest full moon to the Earth this year - is particularly rare as it will coincide with a lunar eclipse. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
GLASTONBURY, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 27: The supermoon rises behind Glastonbury Tor on September 27, 2015 in Glastonbury, England. Tonight's supermoon, so called because it is the closet full moon to the Earth this year, is particularly rare as it coincides with a lunar eclipse, a combination that has not happened since 1982 and won't happen again until 2033. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA SEPTEMBER 27: The full moon rises through the clouds over the sky of Moscow, Russia, on September, 27, 2015. A total lunar eclipse during a 'Supermoon' will take place in the early hours of 28 September, when the Moon makes its closest approach to the Earth, appears larger in the sky and passes into the Earth's shadow. (Photo by Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
The moon is seen near to Moserrate mountain in Bogota on September 27 2015. This Sunday, September 27 will happen a total lunar eclipse while super moon, a natural phenomenon that will be repeated in 2033. AFP PHOTO/Luis Acosta (Photo credit should read LUIS ACOSTA/AFP/Getty Images)
A swollen 'supermoon' is seen during the stages of a total eclipse in La Rochelle, southwestern France, early on September 28, 2015. For the first time in decades, the double spectacle of a swollen 'supermoon' bathed in the blood-red light of a total eclipse can be seen. The celestial show, visible from the Americas, Europe, Africa, west Asia and the east Pacific, will be the result of the Sun, Earth and a larger-than-life, extra-bright Moon lining up for just over an hour. AFP PHOTO / XAVIER LEOTY (Photo credit should read XAVIER LEOTY/AFP/Getty Images)
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When a full moon makes its closest approach to Earth, it appears slightly bigger and brighter than usual and has a reddish hue.

That coincides with a full lunar eclipse where the moon, Earth and sun will be lined up, with Earth's shadow totally obscuring the moon.

The event occurred on the U.S. East Coast at 10:11 p.m. EDT (0211 GMT) and last about an hour.

In Europe, the action will unfold before dawn Monday.

In Los Angeles, a large crowd filled the lawn of Griffith Observatory to watch the celestial show while listening to Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" played by 14-year-old pianist Ray Ushikubo.

"You always want to see the eclipse because they're always very different," said astronomer Edwin Krupp, the director of the hilltop landmark.

Krupp said the additional component of the earth's atmosphere adds "all kinds of twists and turns to the experience."

"What we see tonight will be different from the last event: how dark it is, how red it is. It's always interesting to see," he said.

More coverage on the supermoon eclipse:
'Blood moon' eclipse sparks doomsday fears
Your guide to watching tonight's rare Supermoon eclipse

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