Photos: Total lunar eclipse, last until 2025, wows space watchers | In Pictures News

On Tuesday, the Moon passed through the shadow of the Earth, creating a total lunar eclipse.

For space watchers down on the ground, it was a rare but exciting opportunity to see a phenomenon that has fascinated humans for millennia.

Where skies were clear, the eclipse was visible throughout North America in the predawn hours, with prime viewing in the West, and across parts of East Asia, Australia and the rest of the Pacific after sunset.

The total phase of the eclipse lasted about one-and-a-half hours. The whole event took about six hours from start to finish.

A total eclipse occurs when the Sun, Earth and the Moon line up perfectly, casting Earth’s shadow on the Moon. Known as the blood moon, the reddish-orange colour is the result of sunlight scattering off Earth’s atmosphere.

At the peak of the eclipse, the Moon was 390,653km (242,740 miles) away, according to NASA scientists.

It was the second total lunar eclipse this year, with the first one taking place in May. The next total lunar eclipse is in March 2025 but there will be plenty of partial eclipses in the meantime.

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