Science & Environment

Skywatchers enjoy lunar eclipse

Total lunar eclipse
Image caption Refracted sunlight can turn the Moon a spectacular shade of red

Skywatchers have been enjoying the last total lunar eclipse until 2014.

The spectacle, which occurs when the Earth casts its shadow over the Moon, has been watched from Australia, Asia and North America.

At some points, indirect sunlight still illuminated the Moon, turning it a dramatic shade of red.

The shadow started to fall at 11:33 GMT and ended after 17:30 GMT. The moon was totally eclipsed for 51 minutes eight seconds.

The action began unfolding on Saturday night (local time) in Australia and Asia. Viewers in the western half of the US had the best views on Saturday well before dawn (Pacific and Mountain Standard Time).

The further west they were, the better.

This was the second total lunar eclipse this year; the first occurred in June.

Stargazers will have to settle for partial eclipses of the Moon until 2014, say astronomers.

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