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Feast your eyes on the total lunar eclipse

Lunar eclipse
A sequence of images shows the progression of the lunar eclipse, captured by photographer Mike Massee from Tehachapi, Calif. (Mike Massee Photo)

Cloudy weather blocked Seattle’s view of the “super blue blood moon” early today — but as a consolation, skywatchers from Vancouver to Siberia shared their images of the total lunar eclipse.

Total lunar eclipses arise when Earth’s shadow falls fully over the moon, and the long-wavelength light that’s refracted by our planet’s atmosphere turns the full moon’s disk a sunset-like shade of red.

The event received an extra burst of hype because it took place during a time when the moon is closer to Earth than usual (qualifying by some definitions as a “supermoon”), and because it was the second full moon in the course of a month (a so-called “blue moon”).

Putting all these features together results in the super-blue-blood label, which NASA readily adopted. “Sounds like an opportunity for vampires,” University of Washington astronomer Julie Lutz joked.

Whatever you call it, the lunar eclipse is totally worth a recap …

See the pictures on GeekWire.

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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