Skygazers around the world were treated to a rare sight: a blood supermoon, caused by the convergence of two astronomical phenomena – a supermoon and a total lunar eclipse. Earth's shadow blanketed the full moon as the planet passed between the sun and the moon. The brilliant white glow of the moon slowly transformed into a dim red. The colouring is caused by Earth's atmosphere scattering sunlight into the shadow.
The moon appeared bigger and brighter as it reached a point in its orbit that is closer to Earth than usual. Because the moon's orbit is elliptical, its distance from Earth varies as it circles around the planet every 27 days. At its closest point, known as perigee, the moon comes as close as 225,622 miles (363,104 km) from Earth. At apogee, the most distant point, the moon is 252,088 miles (406,696 km) away.
It has been more than 30 years since a supermoon combined with a lunar eclipse, said Nasa. The next total lunar eclipse will not be until 2018. The next supermoon lunar eclipse combination will not happen until 2033.
This article was first published
on September 28, 2015