April 21, 2019
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Science & Technology

Super blood red moon seen across the world by experts and keen star-gazers

Madrid, Jan 21 (efe-epa).- Astronomy experts and star-gazing aficionados around the world stayed up into the early hours on Monday to catch a glimpse of a rare phenomenon which tinged a large full moon blood red, an event that will not be repeated for almost three years.

The super blood wolf moon was due to a lunar eclipse where the Earth's atmosphere filters the sun's rays through the atmosphere, leaving only the color red's long wavelength visible, Mario Tafalla from Spain's National Astronomical Observatory told EFE.

“A ‘blood moon’ happens when Earth's moon is in full eclipse. While it has no special astronomical significance, the view in the sky is striking as the usually whitish moon becomes red or ruddy-brown,” said Space.com, an organization dedicated to publishing information on astronomy and space exploration.

A supermoon, Tafalla explained, was not an astronomical definition, rather a rare celestial event that gets its name from the fact that the Moon was near a perigee, its closest approach to the Earth, creating the impression that it was marginally bigger in the sky than usual.

The apparent lunar increase in size has more to do with reflected light passing through our atmosphere and acting like a magnifying glass when low over the horizon, he said.

A wolf moon is a name given to full moons observed in January.

A Lunar eclipse can be enjoyed with no astronomical instruments nor special looking glasses, such as those required to safely view solar eclipses.

"It was better to watch from a dark place, although the Moon glowed very bright and was seen even in major cities," the Spanish astronomer said.

The next total eclipse of the Moon is due on Nov 2021.

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