A total lunar eclipse dominated the sky on Sunday night, to the delight of stargazers across America.
The celestial event ― nicknamed a super blood wolf moon ― differed from the last two total lunar eclipses because it was visible to Americans from coast to coast, depending on local weather conditions.
Sunday’s blood moon was also visible in Central and South America and parts of Western Europe and Africa.
Courtesy NASA A NASA map shows the regions of the world where the total lunar eclipse of Jan. 20 to 21 was visible.
The heavenly spectacle owed its name to three distinct characteristics. It was a blood moon because the Earth’s shadow completely covered the moon, giving it a reddish glow. This phenomenon is officially known as a total lunar eclipse.
It was called a supermoon because the eclipse happened at a point in the moon’s orbit when it is closest to the Earth, which causes the moon to look slightly brighter and bigger than usual.
Sunday’s super blood moon was nicknamed a wolf moon because that is the title The Farmer’s Almanac gives to January’s full moon.
The last total lunar eclipse, which occurred in July, was visible only over parts of Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Another one took place in January 2018 and was most visible to Americans on the West Coast, Alaska and the Hawaiian Islands.
NASA estimates there will be 85 total lunar eclipses this century. Still, space enthusiasts who missed this week’s show may have to wait quite some time before the next total lunar eclipse. NASA scientists predict that will happen on May 26, 2021. Americans on the West Coast will likely have the best chances of viewing that celestial show.
Scroll down to see images of Sunday’s super blood wolf moon.
Gary Hershorn via Getty Images The super wolf blood moon passes over One World Trade Center on Jan. 20 in New York City. David McNew via Getty Images The total lunar eclipse and supermoon over ancient Native American petroglyphs on Jan. 20, near Barstow, California. ASSOCIATED PRESS The total lunar eclipse over Spotsylvania, Virginia, Jan. 21. ASSOCIATED PRESS The moon is framed by a statue on the state Capitol during the total lunar eclipse Jan. 20 in Sacramento, California. Bloomberg via Getty Images The super blood wolf moon rises behind the Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco, Jan. 20. ASSOCIATED PRESS The totally eclipsed moon as seen from Athens, Georgia, Jan. 21. ASSOCIATED PRESS The blood moon rises above the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Jan. 21. ASSOCIATED PRESS People watch the blood moon from the rooftop of a planetarium in Rio de Janeiro, Jan. 21. NORBERTO DUARTE via Getty Images The total lunar eclipse in Encarnacion, Paraguay, on Jan. 21. FRANK RUMPENHORST via Getty Images The super blood moon above the skyline of Frankfurt, Germany, Jan. 21. HENNING KAISER via Getty Images The super blood moon above a cathedral in Cologne, Germany, Jan. 21. SEBASTIAN KAHNERT via Getty Images The super blood moon behind the equestrian statue of the Saxon king Johann in Dresden, Germany, Jan. 21. Barcroft Media via Getty Images The total lunar eclipse during the early hours of Jan. 21 in London. Andrew Matthews – PA Images via Getty Images The super blood wolf moon over the peace statue on the seafront in Brighton, England. Jane Barlow – PA Images via Getty Images The super blood wolf moon over Edinburgh Castle in Scotland. Thierry Monasse via Getty Images A partial lunar eclipse phase on Jan. 21 over the Paul-Henri Spaak building of the European Parliament in Brussels. JEAN-FRANCOIS MONIER via Getty Images The super blood moon in Le Mans, France, behind the statue “L’envol” (“The Takeoff”) Jan. 21. GUILLAUME SOUVANT via Getty Images The super blood wolf moon behind Tours Cathedral on Jan. 21 in central France. ASSOCIATED PRESS This combination photo shows the totally eclipsed moon (center) and other stages during the lunar eclipse, as seen from Los Angeles, Jan. 20. Download