DENVER (CBS4) – Coloradans gathered in northeast Denver to watch a rare celestial event in the night sky early Wednesday morning.
Early risers gathered with telescopes in at the Bluff Lake Nature Center,
where the city lights are at a minimum, to see the Super Blue Blood Moon.
Why that name? It’s a combination of “Supermoon” (when the Moon is full at it’s closest distance to Earth, making it appear bigger and brighter), “Blue Moon” (when a calendar month has a Full Moon twice) and “Blood Moon” (a name given for the reddish color seen during a total lunar eclipse).
All three happened at once Wednesday morning, for the first time in the country since before Colorado became a state (the last time was 1866).
A very thin layer of clouds partially obscured the show in the night sky, but it wasn’t enough to destroy the experience.
The lunar eclipse started at approximately 5:50 a.m.
The moon wasn’t actually be blue, but it appeared to be red. That’s because of dust in the atmosphere as the moon passes in the earth’s shadow.
Samantha Sands, an educator at the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, told CBS4 the trifecta treat has an effect on the moon. It spends a long time in the earth’s shadow so it cools dramatically.
“Scientists are actually going to be looking through telescopes and using the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, which is a satellite that goes around the moon, to kind of watch and see what happens to the moon during that cooling period,” she said.