In pictures: Super blood wolf moon

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-46943592

A full moon rises between clouds as a landing commercial jet approaches the airport before the start of a total lunar eclipse that is called a "Super Blood Wolf Moon" in San Diego, CaliforniaImage copyright
Reuters

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The start of the total lunar eclipse seen in San Diego, California

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Stargazers have been scanning the skies for sightings of a highly unusual lunar eclipse, which began on Sunday night.

During the spectacle, known as a “super blood wolf moon”, the moon appears to glow red while seeming brighter and closer to Earth than normal.

The event was initially visible from North and South America, as well as parts of western Europe. In parts of the UK some clouds obscured the view.

The next total lunar eclipse is expected in two years, on 26 May 2021.

“A little bit of sunlight is refracted by the Earth’s atmosphere and reaches the Moon, bending around the edges of the Earth,” says Walter Freeman, an assistant teaching professor at Syracuse University in New York state.

“This small amount of red light still illuminates the Moon enough for us to see it.”

The moon is seen beside "Victoria Alada" statue on the top of Metropoli building during a total lunar eclipse, known as the "Super Blood Wolf Moon" in Madrid, SpainImage copyright
Reuters

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The total lunar eclipse, seen here from Madrid

A total lunar eclipse that is called a "Super Blood Wolf Moon" is seen from Encinitas, CaliforniaImage copyright
Reuters

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The best time to see the totality of the eclipse was around 05:12 GMT

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This kind of eclipse occurs when the Earth passes precisely between the Sun and the Moon.

In this situation, the Sun is behind the Earth, and the Moon moves into the Earth’s shadow.

The eclipse began at 02:35 GMT on Monday and ended at 07:49 GMT, but the point of greatest eclipse occurred at 05:12 GMT.

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A composite photo shows all the phases of the so-called Super Blood Wolf Moon total lunar eclipse on Sunday January 20, 2019 in Panama City.Image copyright
AFP/Getty

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All the phases of the so-called super blood wolf moon, seen here from Panama City

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The rare celestial event gets the “super” part of its name from the fact that the Moon will be near its closest approach to the Earth – when it will be marginally bigger in the sky than usual.

The “wolf” part comes from the name given to full moons in January – “wolf moons”.

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A super blood wolf moon over Liverpool during a lunar eclipse.Image copyright
PA

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The celestial event, seen early here in the English city of Liverpool, was later blocked by some clouds

The so-called Super Blood Wolf Moon is seen over a Pheme sculpture on a rooftop of the Academy of Fine Arts in central Dresden, GermanyImage copyright
EPA

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The “super blood wolf moon” could be seen over a sculpture in Dresden, Germany

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