Rare 'super blue blood moon' dazzles sky gazers

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Millions of people witnessed a once in a blue moon occurrence early this morning. And it gives us the "super blue blood moon".

However as the total eclipse started at 6.21 pm, it could be seen by everybody from rooftops, street corners, highrise buildings and open field, Director (Research & Academics) M P Birla Planetarium, Debiprasad Duari told PTI here.

So, why was it red?

A blood moon occurs when the Earth passes between the Moon and the Sun, giving the Moon a reddish tint.

Elaine and Daniel Chen took it all in from Kitsilano Beach.

"It's very cinematic, the way the moon is changing colours and reflecting on the water", said Clara Cambon, who arrived around 5:30 a.m. with her husband.

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"It's super early in the morning but it's worth it, and its a ideal view in Kitsilano", Elaine added.

What made this particular event so rare is that the moon was also at its closet to the Earth - hence, a "supermoon" - and additionally the second full moon of the month - making it a "blue moon".

The US will be able to look forward to another blood moon eclipse on January 21, 2019. The change in color, as the moon passed through Earth's shadow, was hard to make out on the East Coast. Whereas a supermoon watches the moon is the closest to the earth and coincides with a full moon.

NASA lunar scientist Noah Petro said he was astonished - and thrilled - by all the attention and fuss. There are three stages of a total lunar eclipse - penumbral, umbral and totality. "And people like to be dramatic, they call it a blood moon".

"So the Moon might appear a bit bigger and brighter than usual". During the more than one hour of totality, the temperature will plunge 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 Celsius), said lunar scientist Noah Petro of Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. His team is taking special precautions to keep the spacecraft warm during the eclipse.

The optimum time to view the UK's super blue moon was around 12.40am on Thursday, February 1, when the moon was at its highest.