Friday’s total lunar eclipse, which was the longest in nearly six centuries, was the most beautiful celestial event of the year.
The eclipse lasted an hour, but it started at midnight, which meant that most of the observable part of the celestial event was only visible from the North American sky. Due to the high moonrise, especially in the United States, I was far from the North American view.
At 5:30 in the morning GMT, the moon was just about 80 percent in the eastern sky, offering the best view. The full moon of August was bright pink, with a reddish-orange tinge that had made it look almost like a metallic stain. In the lower right, slightly visible, is the sun rising above the horizon at 8:29 GMT.
In the UK, the start of the eclipse coincided with the start of the weekend, so there were more opportunities to observe the event.
During the eclipse, the moon turned red, much like in ancient pagan festivals or imaged in certain magical circles. Among the pagan gods, I found out that the fire god Ariel was used to symbolize the moon, but the story is different in Norse Mythology. The sun god Odin also likes to visit and bring luck and glory to the moon and also, through casting out the bulls, provides a fresh clean source of blood.
At 5:36 in the morning GMT, the moon reached its peak, then was nearly 100 percent obscured, leaving behind an incredibly bright orange glow, due to the scattering of sunlight through the atmosphere. Observers felt like they had a chance to catch the changing colors of the moon as it moved closer to the sun. During this portion of the eclipse, the moon was already near the horizon, as are many celestial bodies near the horizon.
When the moon reached the sky near the peak of the event, it still wasn’t halfway covered by the sun, however. Just before 9:20 GMT, it started to cover half of the sun, a striking sight.
At 9:20 GMT, the moon was almost completely covered. This was the final stage of the event. The center of the crescent moon was covered by the sun, while the dark shadow of the Earth cast by the moon covering the sun’s edge.
At 9:39 in the morning GMT, the moon sank in the darkening twilight. At 10:06 in the morning GMT, the eclipse was finished.