The sun set at 4:35 p.m. Eastern time on Thursday and a full, bright moon rose above New York City into its mostly clear sky. Thursday was the day of a lunar eclipse, that normally many would have risen from bed earlier than young dawn and her rose-red fingers did. However, a storm and plunging temperatures have stopped many viewers from rising for this eclipse, which hit its peak at 4:03 a.m. In other parts of the world, however, many photographers stayed up late or woke up early to capture the view. The viewers came from Beijing, Venezuela, and Palas de Rei, Galicia, northwestern Spain. Their pictures are pictures of the eclipse in its full, with the moon, being a rusty red color as opposed to its normal silver.
A lunar eclipse occurs when Earth is in line with the sun and moon. As a result, there is a shadow that is cast upon our very moon. This shadow causes the moon to look like it is emitting some sort of light that is very similar to the light that the sun emits during sunset. This eclipse was unusual because of its period of time; it lasted more than six hours. Other recent lunar eclipses have passed by more quickly because the moon was closer to Earth in its orbit. But the moon’s orbit is elliptical, and now it is near the maximum distance from Earth, so it took longer to pass through Earth’s shadow. The last eclipse like this one happened in the 1440s.
Eclipses could be partial or total; Eclipses are partial when the Earth, moon, and sun aren’t completely in a straight line but are somewhat overlapping, and it is total when it is in a completely straight line. Even if one may have missed this, there is another eclipse coming up soon. Although an eclipse of this length won’t come around for many years, a total lunar eclipse, visible to viewers on the East Coast, will occur on May 15. If one has missed this eclipse, then it would be worthwhile to try to get a glimpse of one of the spectacles visible on earth.