A Stunning 'Blood Moon' — Total Lunar Eclipse — Was Visible In LA Sunday Night
A stunning total lunar eclipse was visible from Southern California on Sunday night — spurring a slew of amateur photographers sharing images on social both here and around the world. [And, yes, we'd be happy to see yours, too.]
So what is a "blood moon" and why do they happen?
"The red color is basically all the sunsets' and sunrises' ... red light getting through the atmosphere and bending and getting to the moon, whereas the blue light is getting scattered," explained Bruce Betts, a chief scientist with the Planetary Society,.
During the eclipse the moon goes dark red, which is why it's sometimes called the "blood moon," Betts said.
The peak of visibility in Los Angeles was 9:11 p.m.
The Griffith Observatory hosted a viewing party where amateur astronomers set up their telescopes on the facility's lawn.
Griffith Observatory president Ed Krupp said that a telescope isn't necessary, though. The eclipse will be visible without any accoutrements.
"Here in Southern California, the eclipse starts before the moon actually rises," he said. "So it rises partly, eclipses, and then just continues to get higher in the sky. Over the course of the next few hours, it goes into total eclipse and then emerges again."
So where to watch? Experts do not recommend the beach due to the likelihood of clouds moving in over the moon.
"Places near the coast, within 10 miles, probably have the best chance for cloud cover," said Adam Roser, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.
And if you had trouble getting a clear view, the Griffith Observatory had a livestream with a spectacularly close look.
At the observatory event Sunday, staff performed a dragon-banishing ceremony including banging drums and incantations. That was to honor many traditions from around the world that believed lunar eclipses were caused by mythical creatures taking a bite out of the moon.
Another total lunar eclipse will occur in November, after which there won't be another for three years.
Ahead of Sunday's show, Betts cautioned: "You never know about clouds, so I encourage you not to miss this one."
Here's what it looked like around the world: