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Super Blue Blood Moon dazzles the globe

For the first time in more than 150 years stargazers around the world got the chance to see a spectacular Super Blue Blood Moon.

The Super Blue Blood Moon – three rare lunar conditions coming together at once to make an even rarer sight – was last seen in 1866.

The Moon rises over St Paul's, the City and the Thames
Image:
The Moon rises over St Paul’s, the City and the Thames

Starting in Australia before appearing through much of Asia, North America, Alaska and Hawaii, it rose with a rusty red colour and dominated the sky through Wednesday night.

The full spectacle was a rare combination of three disparate elements.

The rare Super Blue Blood Moon over Istanbul's Camlica Mosque
Image:
The moon looms over Istanbul’s Camlica Mosque

First, it was a Blue Moon: the name given to the second full moon in a calendar month.

The Supermoon element, which means the moon appears much larger and brighter than usual, was a result of the moon moving closer to the Earth than normal.

The moon rises over Svalbard in Norway
Image:
The moon rises over Svalbard in Norway

Finally the reddish blood colour of the moon, visible in many places around the world, was caused by a total lunar eclipse as it passes through the Earth’s shadow and takes on a red glow.

Unfortunately for moon watchers in the UK, however, this was not visible from the British isles so it appeared an ordinary colour.

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - JANUARY 31:  A supermoon rises behind St. Paul's Cathedral on January 31, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. The super blue blood moon is a rare combination of a supermoon, a blood moon and a blue moon all simultaneously occurring.  (Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images)
Image:
Ethereal: The Moon rising over the City next to St Paul’s Cathedral

The effects of the Blue Moon and Supermoon could be clearly seen however, with the satellite appearing 14% bigger and 30% brighter as it reached the closest point to Earth on Wednesday night.

Elsewhere in the world, crowds of hundreds gathered to watch the event.

The moon rises next to the highest buildings in Skopje, Macedonia
Image:
The moon rises next to the highest buildings in Skopje, Macedonia

Los Angeles’ Santa Monica Pier, the Griffith observatory on Mount Hollywood and, in China, the Beijing planetarium all hosted groups of stargazers.

Observatory director Ed Krupp said: “Griffith Observatory is all about having an eyeball to the sky, and so it’s one thing to learn about this event in a book, but it’s another to see it for yourself.”


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Video:
Timelapse of ‘Super Blue Blood Moon’

Those who could not see the full phenomena at home also watched online, with more than 101 million tuning in to NASA’s livestream.

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