For all you early risers who got up to view Wednesday morning's blood moon, it was a spectacular sight, right? Well, I wouldn't know. For sleep-lovers like me who missed it, there is, luckily, plenty of photographic documentation of the rare lunar eclipse. Apparently, the second blood moon of the year did not disappoint. Not only was it almost as big as the supermoon, but the reddish hue was also vibrant. And photographers had a field day with it.
Wednesday's blood moon, the second in a series of four (called a tetrad), was particularly magnificent because it was larger than usual. Since the eclipse occurred right after the Moon's closet point in orbit to the Earth, the second blood moon was five percent larger than the first. The vivid red tint came from the sun's rays being refracted by the Earth's atmosphere, which is what turns the sky brilliant shades of red, pink, and orange during sunsets. So, essentially, the blood moon positioned itself close enough to the sunset to be washed in its reddish glow.
Sky-gazers as far away as China saw the same lunar eclipse as residents in the states. In case you slept in and missed Wednesday's lunar eclipse, here are a bunch of photos that will make you feel like you were there. And be sure to catch the next one on April 4, 2015 — and if you happen to miss that one too, the last one in the tetrad will occur on Sept. 28, 2015.
Image: Neal Carter at NBC/Twitter