Martha’s Vineyard residents enjoyed a rare celestial treat Sunday evening. A lunar eclipse coincided with a super moon, an event that will not be repeated for another 18 years.
Islanders viewed the event from backyards and beaches. Many took photos. The Times welcomes readers to share their photos (firstname.lastname@example.org).
This super moon, also called a harvest moon due to its occurrence falling at the beginning of the autumn season, had an extra characteristic.
Known as a blood moon, the moon passed behind the Earth into its shadow, resulting in a red tint across its surface.
“The red portion of sunlight is what makes it through our atmosphere to the other side, bent toward the eclipsed moon, so that even though the moon is within Earth’s shadow, the red portion of the sun’s light can give the moon this ghostly illumination,” Eric Edelman of Slooh community observatory told AccuWeather.
Supermoon lunar eclipses are historically rare, though frequency has increased during the 21st century, according to Slooh Astronomer Bob Berman.
“It’s one of best astronomical events to witness without any equipment and we know exactly when it’s going to happen,” AccuWeather Meteorologist and Astronomy Blogger Dave Samuhel said.
“The moon will be fully eclipsed for a little over one hour,” Samuhel said. “But the time from the very start to the very end of the eclipse will be a little over three hours.”