Science & Environment

'Blood moon' eclipse seen over Americas

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionScience correspondent Jonathan Amos explains the science behind the "blood moon"

Skywatchers in the Americas have caught a rare celestial show caused by the Earth's shadow falling across the Moon.

The Moon changed colour from orange to blood red or brown in a total lunar eclipse.

The total lunar eclipse unfolded over three hours as the Moon moved into the Earth's shadow.

From 08:06 BST (07:06 GMT) our planet's natural satellite was fully eclipsed for more than 75 minutes and shrouded in a reddish glow.

Eclipse phase Timing
Penumbral eclipse begins 04:53 GMT
Partial eclipse begins 05:58 GMT
Total eclipse begins 07:06 GMT
Greatest eclipse 07:45 GMT
Total eclipse ends 08:24 GMT
Partial eclipse ends 09:33 GMT
Penumbral eclipse ends 10:37 GMT

The first eclipse of 2014 was visible across most of North America, Latin America and the Caribbean.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption In California, people waited for buses to a nearby observatory to watch the eclipse
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Families in Melbourne, Australia, also gathered to watch the 'blood moon'
Image copyright AFP
Image caption The moon appeared half red and half white mid-way through the lunar eclipse

Observers in north-west Africa and the eastern half of South America were able to see part of the eclipse, but missed some stages because they occurred after moonset.

The moment of greatest eclipse occurred at 08:45 BST (07:45 GMT).

Three further eclipses will occur during 2014: an annular solar eclipse on 29 April, a total lunar eclipse on 8 October and a partial solar eclipse on 23 October.

Image copyright NASA

Related Topics

More on this story