PHOTOS: Views of last night's supermoon eclipse
The moon is seen behind a cross atop a monastery in Poschupovo in the Ryazan region of Russia on Sept. 27. Sky-watchers around the world observed an eclipse of a supermoon over the weekend. Photo by Maxim Shemetov/Reuters
Did you miss last night's supermoon eclipse? Fear not. You'll have a chance to see another one… in 18 years. Last night's total supermoon eclipse was the first of its kind since 1982 and the last until 2033.
Three things happened at once in the nighttime sky. The moon was both full and at its closest point — its perigee — to Earth. Together that created a supermoon. This occurred at the same time as a total lunar eclipse when the full moon passed through the darkest part of the Earth's shadow, the umbra, and the moon, sun and Earth were perfectly aligned.
But what caused the ruddy color?
From NASA: "The moon does not make its own light; it reflects light it receives from the sun. During a lunar eclipse, the moon appears less and less bright as sunlight is blocked by the Earth's shadow. As totality approaches, sunlight reaches the moon indirectly and is refracted around the 'edges' of Earth, through Earth's atmosphere. Because of this, almost all colors except red are 'filtered' out, and the eclipsed moon appears reddish or dark brown. This filtering is caused by particulates in our atmosphere; when there have been a lot of fires and/or volcanic eruptions, lunar eclipses will appear darker and redder. This eerie — but harmless — effect has earned the phenomenon the nickname 'blood moon.'"
Children gather in Poschupovo in the Ryazan region of Russia to look at the full moon on Sept. 27. Photo by Maxim Shemetov/Reuters
A partially eclipsed supermoon rises over Las Vegas, Nevada, on Sept. 27. The moon is closest to the Earth in its orbit, making it appear much larger and brighter than usual. Photo by David Becker/Reuters
A supermoon is seen in the sky above Griffith Park Observatory in Los Angeles, California on Sept. 27. Photo by Jonathan Alcorn/Reuters
The total "supermoon" eclipse of the closest full moon of the year is seen from Vigeland Park in Oslo, Norway on Sept. 28. Photo by Haakon Mosvold Larsen/NTB Scanpix via Reuters
A supermoon is seen during a lunar eclipse behind pods of the London Eye wheel on Sept. 28. Photo by Toby Melville/Reuters
The "blood moon" rises next to a brightly lit Eiffel Tower in Paris, France on Sept. 28. Photo by Charles Platiau/Reuters
The moon appears with a reddish glow next to a statue on the Alexander III bridge in Paris, France on Sept. 28. Photo by Philippe Wojazer/Reuters
The last of this year's supermoons rises above a minaret of a mosque in Wadi El-Rayan Lake at the desert of Al Fayoum Governorate, southwest of Cairo, Egypt, on Sept. 27. Photo by Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters
A supermoon is seen over the Unisphere at Flushing Meadows Corona Park in the Queens borough of New York on Sept. 27. The total "supermoon" lunar eclipse is also known as a "blood moon." Photo by Shannon Stapleton/Reuters
A surfer catches a wave as a "supermoon" rises at Manly Beach in Sydney, Australia on Sept. 28. The next total lunar eclipse is January 2018. Photo by David Gray/Reuters