Cloudy weather blocked Seattle’s view of last night’s “super blue blood moon” — but as a consolation, skywatchers from Vancouver to Siberia shared their images of the total lunar eclipse.
Total lunar eclipses arise when Earth’s shadow falls fully over the moon, and the long-wavelength light that’s refracted by our planet’s atmosphere turns the full moon’s disk a sunset-like shade of red.
Last night’s event received an extra burst of hype because it took place during a time when the moon is closer to Earth than usual (qualifying by some definitions as a “supermoon”), and because it was the second full moon in the course of a month (a so-called “blue moon”).
Putting all these features together results in the super-blue-blood label, which NASA readily adopted. “Sounds like an opportunity for vampires,” University of Washington astronomer Julie Lutz joked.
Whatever you call it, the lunar eclipse is totally worth a recap …
Hits from around the world, including an enhanced view from Vancouver, B.C.:
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) January 31, 2018
Truly amazing RT @mizrebecca: @AliVelshi I heard on your show (I love it by the way) that you missed the eclipse. Here are screenshots from Griffith Observatory in LA earlier this morning. pic.twitter.com/W9PHFTPuH9
— Ali Velshi (@AliVelshi) January 31, 2018
— TIME (@TIME) January 31, 2018
Siberians join the world watching full moon eclipse
Pictures from Novosibirsk, Krasnoyarsk and Omsk pic.twitter.com/6B8JXJC6Nq
— The Siberian Times (@siberian_times) January 31, 2018
Notable misses from the Seattle area:
Update: Catching a glimpse of the eclipse through breaks in the overcast is not impossible, but the latest satellite loop and weather observations show poor #SuperBlueBloodMoon viewing conditions across Western Washington. pic.twitter.com/tRhjQxLyio
— NWS Seattle (@NWSSeattle) January 31, 2018
Here is Seattle it was a super blue blood "Cumulus" eclipse…basking in the glow =p pic.twitter.com/s8yddh5Z7V
— Lattetown (@LattetownHouse) January 31, 2018
When you’re not the only dope who wakes up at 3:30am to take pictures of a lunar eclipse completely covered by a thick layer of clouds. pic.twitter.com/CojzzEiBgn
— SeattleRams (@seattlerams_nfl) January 31, 2018
And a parting shot from California:
If you missed the total lunar eclipse — or, more likely, slept through it between 5 and 6 a.m. PT — another one is due to be visible from all of North and South America on Jan. 20, 2019.
That eclipse will be at a more sensible hour, starting at 8:41 p.m. PT, and we’ll have almost a year to do something about the Northwest’s inconveniently cloudy weather.