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Spica, Mars, and the Red Eclipsed Moon

April 16, 2014, 11:27 AM
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On April 15th, people in North America were treated to a "blood moon," when dispersed light from Earth's sunsets and sunrises covered the face of the Moon during a lunar eclipse. This is the first in a series of four "blood moon" lunar eclipses occurring over the next year and a half, as we reported here on Big Think. 

NASA captured an image of the reddish Moon, the star Spica, and Mars: 

A beautiful, reddened Moon slid through dark skies on April 15, completely immersed in Earth's shadow for well over an hour. It was the year's first total lunar eclipse and was widely enjoyed over the planet's Western Hemisphere. Seen from the Caribbean island of Barbados, the dimmed lunar disk is captured during totality in this colorful skyview. The dark Moon's red color contrasts nicely with bright bluish star Spica, alpha star of the constellation Virgo, posing only about two degrees away. Brighter than Spica and about 10 degrees from the Moon on the right, Mars is near opposition and closest approach to Earth. The Red Planet's own ruddy hue seems to echo the color of the eclipsed Moon.

Image credit: NASA

 

Spica, Mars, and the Red Ec...

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