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July 29, 2014

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‘Blood moon’ eclipse delights skywatchers, first of year

Image

Arnulfo Franco / AP

This eight picture combo shows a total lunar eclipse over Panama City, Panama, early Tuesday, April 15, 2014. Tuesday’s eclipse is the first of four total lunar eclipses that will take place between 2014 to 2015.

‘Blood Moon’ Eclipse

The 'blood moon' as seen from Las Vegas during the year's first lunar eclipse Monday, April 14, 2014. Launch slideshow »

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Sky-gazers in North and South America were treated to a full lunar eclipse — at least those fortunate enough to have clear skies.

The moon was eclipsed by the Earth's shadow early Tuesday, beginning around 1 a.m. EDT for 5 ½ hours. The total phase of the eclipse lasted just 78 minutes.

For some, the moon appeared red-orange because of all the sunsets and sunrises shimmering from Earth, thus the name "blood moon."

It's the first of four eclipses this year and the first of four total lunar eclipses this year and next. In the meantime, get ready for a solar eclipse in two weeks.

NASA got good news Tuesday: Its moon-orbiting spacecraft, LADEE survived the eclipse. Scientists had feared LADEE might freeze up in the cold darkness.

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