Lunar eclipse thrills stargazers in the Americas

The total lunar eclipse offers a spectacular celestial show that unfolds over the Americas from Sunday night into early Monday.

The eastern half of North America and all of Central and South America are prime locations for viewing the eclipse, while parts of the phases can be seen in Africa, Europe and the Middle East.

Among those watching the eclipse with clear skies were residents of Buenos Aires, Argentina, who were wrapped up in their clothes on a cold night and watched the event from a blanket in a park. In Caracas, Venezuela, some brought laser pointers as the crowd gathered to watch.

The Moon was bathed in the red and orange hues reflected by Earth’s sunsets and sunrises for about 1 1/2 hours, one of the longest overalls in a decade. It was the first so-called “blood moon” in a year.

A total solar eclipse occurs when the Earth passes directly between the moon and the sun, casting a shadow on the lunar surface. At the height of the eclipse, around midnight on the east coast of the United States, the Moon was 225,000 miles (362,000 kilometers) away.

There will be another long total lunar eclipse in November, and Africa and Europe are the best places to see it, but not the Americas. And then the next one is 2025.

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