Lunar Eclipse Stuns Skywatchers with Bright Red Moon

Total lunar eclipse photos from Phoenix, Ariz., by Charles Jones
Skywatcher Charles R. Jones II took this photo of the total lunar eclipse Dec. 10 from Phoenix, Ariz.
(Image: © Charles R. Jones II)

The last total lunar eclipse until 2014 occurred early this morning (Dec. 10), giving skywatchers a spectacular view of a supersized, reddened moon.

Observers in western Canada and the United States, as well as Alaska, Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, and central and eastern Asia, were treated to a stunning celestial show, as Earth passed between the sun and the moon, casting our planet's natural satellite completely in shadow.

The eclipse started at 7:45 a.m. EST (4:45 a.m. PST, 1245 GMT), and by 9:05 a.m. EST (6:05 a.m. PST, 1405 GMT), the moon was fully engulfed in an orange-red glow.

Skywatcher Charles R. Jones II took this photo of the total lunar eclipse Dec. 10 from Phoenix, Ariz.
(Image: © Charles R. Jones II)

This eclipse also gave observers an extra special treat, with the low-hanging moon appearing to be inflated and supersized. In reality, this is simply a neat illusion, because the moon is not actually any wider. [More Amazing Photos of the Dec. 10 Total Lunar Eclipse]

Skywatchers in western Canada and the United States were best placed to catch the illusion of this oversized moon cast in reddish hues.

Observer David Prosper captured the reddened moon hanging in a pink sky from his backyard in Oakland, Calif.

Skywatcher David Prosper captured this view of the Dec. 10 total lunar eclipse from Oakland, Calif.
(Image: © David Prosper)

"I got up early with my neighbors this morning and managed to snap some pics of the moody red moon as it was eclipsed deep in the west this morning," Prosper wrote in an email to SPACE.com.

Skywatcher David Prosper captured this view of the Dec. 10 total lunar eclipse from Oakland, Calif.
(Image: © David Prosper)

Another skywatcher, Jodie Lawrosky, snapped the moon at different points throughout the eclipse from Phoenix, Ariz.

Skywatcher Jodie Lawrosky took these photos of the total lunar eclipse on Dec. 10, 2011, from Phoenix, Ariz.
(Image: © Jodie Lawrosky)

"I’m no Ansel Adams…but it was fun to watch," Lawrosky wrote.

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