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Stargazers across Ireland capture supermoon eclipse

Suzanne McGonagle
28 September, 2015 18:45

It hadn't happened for more than 30 years, and won't happen again until 2033 - and people across Ireland captured the spectacle for posterity.

Astronomers, photographers and amateur stargazers stayed up into the early hours yesterday for the rare sight of a 'supermoon' coinciding with a lunar eclipse.

In an eclipse the moon turns a deep rusty red as the Earth's shadow passes over.

But the last time a supermoon - when the moon is closest in its orbit to Earth - coincided with a lunar eclipse was 1982.

The spectacle began to unfold from 1.10am, with the 'total' phase - when the moon is completely in shadow - lasting from 3.11am to 4.24am.

The shade of red observed depended on the atmospheric conditions, with some places observing a bluish tinge at the moon's edge.

Unlike with a solar eclipse, a lunar eclipse is completely safe to observe through binoculars or a small telescope.

It is also easier to capture than many other astronomical events as the moon is visible for more than an hour.

But while you won’t get another chance to see it for another 18 years, photographers in Ireland and across the world have captured stunning images and been sharing their pictures online.

Among them was Kieran Scullion, who posted his images of the celestial show over the skies of Ballymena.

Gillian Campbell from Belfast wrote: "I'm loving the lunar eclipse, amazing."

Elsewhere, people worldwide used social media to share their thoughts.

Aislinn Pilia said: "London, a clear starry night and a gorgeous supermoon worth getting up for but now going back to bed."

28 September, 2015 18:45 News

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