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What is a lunar eclipse?

Wednesday+morning%27s+Super+Blue+Blood+moon+viewed+from+Griffith+Observatory+in+Los+Angeles+%28credit%3A+https%3A%2F%2Fwww.space.com%2F39208-super-blue-blood-moon-guide.html%29
Wednesday morning's Super Blue Blood moon viewed from Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles (credit: https://www.space.com/39208-super-blue-blood-moon-guide.html)

Wednesday morning's Super Blue Blood moon viewed from Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles (credit: https://www.space.com/39208-super-blue-blood-moon-guide.html)

Tariq Malik

Tariq Malik

Wednesday morning's Super Blue Blood moon viewed from Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles (credit: https://www.space.com/39208-super-blue-blood-moon-guide.html)

Darian Nishida

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During a lunar eclipse, the moon passes into the Earth’s shadow. But sunlight streaming through the planet’s atmosphere scatters onto the lunar surface, so rather than disappearing completely, the moon turns deep red. The exact color and visibility of the moon can vary among eclipses, according to E.C. Krupp, director of the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, who spoke with Space.com during an eclipse-viewing event at the observatory on January 31st following the “super blue blood moon” earlier that morning. The lunar eclipse was visible in most of North America, Australia, and East and Central Asia. In some regions of Europe and East Africa, skywatchers would have seen a partial eclipse or the end of the total eclipse just after moonrise.

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What is a lunar eclipse?