2-for-1: Total lunar eclipse comes with supermoon bonus

Figure 4 Earth twin. Control experiement on Earth

Figure 4 Earth twin. Control experiement on Earth

When the full moon moved into Earth's shadow, it darkened, but did not disappear. The moon's usual bright white hue may turn a burnt red-orange during a total eclipse because sunlight passing through the Earth's atmosphere is bent towards it. Colours in the spectrum with shorter wavelengths are blocked and filtered away while those with longer wavelengths such as red and orange can pass through.

The Reuters news agency reported, "The best viewing of the one-hour total eclipse was from North and South America, with as many as 2.8 billion people able to see it from the Western Hemisphere, Europe, West Africa and northernmost Russian Federation".

A picture taken on January 21, 2019 the Super Blood Moon seen behind the equestrian statue of the Saxon king Johann during a lunar eclipse in Dresden, Germany. Wolf moon is a Native American name for the first full moon of the year. At its peak, where night skies were clear of clouds, Venus and Jupiter shone brightly in the night sky.

Lunar eclipses can only take place when a full moon occurs around a lunar node, the point where the two orbital planes meets.

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"The Sun's red light is scattered much less by air, and is bent by Earth's atmosphere in a process called refraction, travelling all the way through it to light up the Moon's surface".

Europeans last saw a total lunar eclipse in July 2018.

Ireland is due to experience its most impressive lunar eclipse for the next 14 years overnight. The next chance for a glimpse at a lunar eclipse will be in 2022, but the entire continent won't be able to see the totality of a lunar eclipse again until 2029.

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