For a few minutes during the night from Sunday to Monday, some Earthlings were able to think of a spectacular lunar eclipse as the star turned red.
The rare celestial scene made it possible to imagine the star losing its brightness at night and gradually turning red.
The eclipse occurred entirely in South America, Central America and the eastern part of North America.
This phenomenon occurs twice a year, when the sun, earth and moon are fully aligned and the moon is in full phase.
The star slides into the shadow of the earth, shielding it from the sun’s rays and gradually losing its white light.
But it does not go all out: the earth continues to send light back from the sun to the moon, through rays that take on a red color through the process of “refraction of the atmosphere”, AFP explains to Florent Delifle. Paris-PSL Observatory.
“During an eclipse, only the Earth can illuminate the moon by re-emitting these red rays,” the astronomer continued.
“It was very interesting to see the bright, white moon fade into red for minutes,” he says. Seen with binoculars as seen with the naked eye, this phenomenon can give “amazing photos” if the weather conditions are good.
The next total lunar eclipse will occur in mid-Pacific in November 2022. The mainland is France, the last of which is January 2019 and the next will not take place until 2029.
Lunar eclipses have shown that the Earth has been round since “ancient times”, the astronomer emphasized. “On the surface of the lunar disk, the boundary between the shadow and the part illuminated by the sun is slightly curved: this is the round projection of the earth”.