‘Blood Moon’ eclipse wows Pacific sky-gazers (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

‘Blood Moon’ eclipse wows Pacific sky-gazers (VIDEO, PHOTOS)
A blood-red moon has dazzled stargazers for the second time this year, presenting a spectacular view in the skies over the eastern hemisphere. The rare optical phenomenon has been best seen from Asia, Australia, North America and Russia’s Pacific region.

The moon turns orange during a total lunar eclipse behind the CN Tower and the skyline during moonset in Toronto October 8, 2014. (Reuters/Mark Blinch)

The latest total lunar eclipse started at 11:25 AM GMT and lasted for 59 minutes. Due to the Moon’s position in orbit, it appeared 5.3 percent larger than during the previous eclipse. The clouds, however, hid the celestial body for a while.

NASA and the SLOOH Community Observatory were streaming live video transmissions of the event.

The Moon turns red or orange when the moon lines up with the Sun and Earth and passes Earth’s shadow, called an umbra, reflecting the sunlight refracted by our atmosphere. A perfect alignment of Moon, Earth and the Sun is called perigee-syzygy. On such a rare occasion, the full Moon rapidly darkens and starts glowing red.

When an eclipse hides the dayside of the Moon from the Sun’s heat, the temperature on the lunar surface falls from +130 degrees Celsius to -99 degrees Celsius.

The first “bloody” eclipse out of a sequence of four red moons called a tetrad set for 2014-15 happened on April 15. The third and fourth will take place on April 4, 2015 and September 28, 2015.

Watch the full video of the eclipse

The beginning of a total lunar eclipse is seen from the Qizhong Tennis Court in Shanghai October 8, 2014. (Reuters/Aly Song)