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Bay Area Skywatchers Wake Up To Total Lunar Eclipse

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The moon just exits from its total eclipse in the sky on December 10, 2011. ( LIU JIN/AFP/Getty Images)

The moon just exits from its total eclipse in the sky on December 10, 2011. ( LIU JIN/AFP/Getty Images)

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF / AP) — Moon watchers in the western U.S., Hawaii and elsewhere across the globe were treated Saturday to a rare celestial phenomenon: a total lunar eclipse.

For 51 minutes starting at 6:06 a.m. PST, the Earth’s shadow completely blocked the moon.

The moon took on a reddish glow, as some indirect sunlight continued to reach it after passing through the Earth’s atmosphere. Since the atmosphere scatters blue light, only red light strikes the moon, giving it an eerie crimson hue.

The last total lunar eclipse was on June 15 although that was not visible from the United States. The next one is on April 15, 2014 and will be seen in the U.S.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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