IN the picture above, a passenger plane in flight is silhouetted against a ‘super blue blood moon’ over the city of Cali, Colombia last week.
The event was a rare phenomenon that combined three unusual elements: a blue moon, a super moon and a total eclipse. The last time these three things happened at the same time was in 1866!
So what do they each mean? A blue moon is the second full moon in a calendar month. A super moon is when the moon is at perigee (its closest distance to Earth) and much brighter than usual. And a blood moon is the name given to the exact moment during a lunar eclipse when the moon appears to turn red. A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes within planet Earth’s umbra (shadow).
This eclipse, which lasted about an hour and a quarter, was not visible in the UK, but could be seen in most of Australia, New Zealand, central and eastern Asia, Indonesia and the Americas.
The next visible lunar eclipse in the UK will be on 27 July this year.