SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The clouds parted right in time for the epic celestial lunar eclipse to begin shining brightly over the Bay Area on Sunday evening, but it didn’t last long.
The “Super Wolf Blood Moon” is the last lunar eclipse until May 2021, according to Space.com. It will be the last one visible from the United States until 2022.
The extravagant name of this event comes from combining these three terms:
- Supermoon – when a Full Moon is at perigee, or it’s closest approach to Earth
- Wolf Moon – the name given to the January Full Moon
- Blood Moon – the reddish tint during a lunar eclipse as sunlight is filtered and refracted by Earth’s atmosphere – the exact shade varies based on the particulates in the atmosphere
Many took to social media to capture the bright moon peeking as the clouds parted, some capturing spectacular moments before the clouds shortly obscured the view again.
The viewing party at the Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland made a last minute adjustment as its indoor viewing party moved outside.
Word got around that the clouds were parting and the Super Moon was playing peekaboo, so spectators began to run outside. It was a festive atmosphere. One group of children began howling, celebrating the fact that Native Americans nicknamed this eclipse the “wolf moon.”
Another nickname comes from the eclipse’s reddish hue.
“Scientifically, this is just called a lunar eclipse,” said Gerald McKeegan, an astronomer at the Chabot Space and Science Center.
“The moon passes through the earth’s shadow, and as it does so, eventually the moon will turn a rusty red color, hence the term ‘blood moon,’ he added.
The eclipse was visible throughout North America. A second one that will appear in July will only be visible from Europe and Africa.