By: Natasha Archary
Millions of people around the world may have looked to the night sky from Sunday, 15 May for a rare cosmic show, where the moon turns rusty red.
The first total lunar eclipse would have been clearly visible in America and best viewed in California, the Pacific-North West, Australia and New Zealand. Unfortunately, scientists say the blood moon won’t be visible in South Africa.
Also known as the Super Flower Blood Moon, the phenomenon is said to bring good fortune and a change in luck to those who believe.
Here are 5 facts about the blood moon:
1. You can look directly at the blood moon with your naked eye
Unlike the solar eclipse which can hurt your eye, you can watch the lunar eclipse without wearing protective eyewear.
2. The total eclipse will last approximately 15 minutes
The lunar eclipse takes about 15 minutes for the Earth to pass directly between the moon and the sun. But the entire “show” or blood moon effect will last five hours, as Earth’s shadow gradually covers the moon, then starts to ebb.
3. The red hue is a result of all the sunrises and sunsets in Earth’s atmosphere projected on the moon’s surface
The depth of the red hue will depend on a number of factors such as dust or clouds in the sky, according to NASA who answered an eclipse Q&A.
4. The next lunar eclipse will occur in March 2025
Lunar eclipses don’t occur very often, the last one was in January 2019. What makes this year’s eclipse special is that the moon will be at its fullest making it a ‘Super’ Blood Moon.
5. There are 6 stages in a lunar eclipse
A lunar eclipse consists of 6 stages also called contacts.
If you missed the total lunar eclipse and a chance to see the Super Flower Blood Moon, watch the events unfold below from Chile:
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