Lunar eclipse: When the moon turned blood red

The total lunar eclipse, the second and last one of this year has begun.

Lunar eclipse: When the moon turned blood red

New Delhi: A stunning lunar eclipse was visible to evening viewers in Asia and early risers in parts of the Americas on Wednesday.

Star gazers saw the moon turns orange or red, also called as a “blood moon” although clouds obscured it for some.

As the moon made a brief appearance, shouts of joy erupted at the Sydney Observatory in Australia.

“Very spectacular," Sydney Observatory astronomer Geoff Wyatt was quoted as saying. “The cloud certainly got in the way, but we've seen it during totality and of course that's always the highlight — to see that lovely, reddish-brown color.”

However, star gazers from India were left little disappointed as they could witness only its last stage when the moon is below the horizon during most of the eclipse.

Though it's a total eclipse, it was visible partially in some parts of India and that too for a very short time time towards the end of the eclipse.

"The totality of the eclipse will begin at 3:54 PM and end at 7:05 PM," Director Nehru Planetarium, Nehru Centre Mumbai Arvind Paranjpye said. The maximum eclipse will be seen at 4:24 PM and the totality will end on 4:54 PM and the moon will leave the penumbra at 7:04 PM, he further said.

A total lunar eclipse happens when the moon is completely in the Earth's shadow, and any light reaching the moon must first pass through the Earth's atmosphere. Instead of reflecting sunlight, the shadowed moon is bathed in a red light that bends around our atmosphere.

The eclipse is the second in a rare series known as the tetrad, in which the moon is completely covered by the Earth's umbral shadow for four eclipses in a row, as opposed to only partial eclipses that fall in the outer penumbra.

Wednesday's total lunar eclipse is the second and last one of this year. The first lunar eclipse of the year occurred on April 15.

The final two total lunar eclipses of this tetrad will take place next year on April 4 and September 28 respectively.