In Photos: The Rare Super Blue Blood Moon Eclipse of 2018

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Sunlight shining on the solid globe of Earth casts a circular shadow, or umbra, into space. The shadow is always opposite the sun and near the ecliptic (yellow line), which defines the plane of Earth's orbit around the sun. The moon's orbit (gray line) is tilted 5 degrees away from the ecliptic. Whenever full moons occur close to the point in space where the moon's orbit and ecliptic intersect, a lunar eclipse can occur. While the moon is passing through the smaller white circle, only sunlight that has been reddened as it refracts over the Earth's horizon reaches it — painting it a blood red color. The larger circle, or penumbra, represents the region where some direct sunlight still reaches the moon.

Lunar Eclipse January 2018

NASA

This graph shows the path of the January 2018 total lunar eclipse, and times when the event will be visible.

Jan 31, 2018 Total Lunar Eclipse by Reverend Chicagodom

Reverend Chicagodom

This series of images shows a plane crossing in front of the moon during a lunar eclipse.

Jan 31, 2018 Total Lunar Eclipse by James McCue/The Virtual Telescope

James McCue/The Virtual Telescope

Trees silhouette a copper moon over New Mexico in this image of the total lunar eclipse of Jan. 31, 2018.

Jan 31, 2018 Total Lunar Eclipse by Harrison Jones

Harrison Jones

This series of images shows the moon moving down toward the horizon as the natural satellite simultaneously slips into the Earth's shadow during a total lunar eclipse on Jan. 31, 2018.

Jan 31, 2018 Total Lunar Eclipse by Dan Hooper/The Virtual Telescope

Dan Hooper/The Virtual Telescope

The moon's edge begins to slip into the inner (umbral) shadow of the Earth during a total lunar eclipse.

Jan 31, 2018 Total Lunar Eclipse by Jaxson Pohlman

Jaxson Pohlman

A small sliver of partially the eclipsed moon is slowly taken over by Earth's red shadow in this photo of the total lunar eclipse on Jan. 31, 2018. Astrophotographer Jaxson Pohlman captured this photo of the partial phase of the eclipse from Wichita, Kansas.

Jan 31, 2018 Total Lunar Eclipse by Maxim Senin

Maxim Senin

The partially eclipsed moon is visible behind a statue at the entrance to the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles.

Jan 31, 2018 Total Lunar Eclipse by Maxim Senin

Maxim Senin

A large crowd of people gathered at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles to watch the total lunar eclipse of Jan. 31, 2018.

Jan 31, 2018 Total Lunar Eclipse by Tyler S. Leavitt

Tyler S. Leavitt

The total lunar eclipse over Las Vegas.

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