[IN IMAGES] See or review the spectacular images of the “red” eclipse

Some of the Earthlings were able to contemplate a spectacular lunar eclipse, during which the star turned red for a few minutes overnight from Sunday to Monday.

[IN IMAGES] See or review the spectacular images of the “red” eclipse

Some of the Earthlings were able to contemplate a spectacular lunar eclipse, during which the star turned red for a few minutes overnight from Sunday to Monday.

The infrequent celestial spectacle made it possible to contemplate the nocturnal star losing its brilliance and gradually turning red.

The eclipse was visible entirely in South America, Central America and over an eastern part of North America.

This phenomenon occurs about twice a year, when the Sun, Earth and Moon are perfectly aligned, and the Moon is in its full phase.

The star slips into the shadow of the Earth, which then shields the sun's rays, and gradually loses its white glow.

But it does not go out for all that: the Earth continues to send back to the Moon light from the Sun, via rays which take on a red hue by a process of "refraction of the atmosphere", explains to AFP Florent Deleflie, from the Paris-PSL Observatory.

“During an eclipse, only the Earth can illuminate the Moon via this re-emission of red rays,” continues the astronomer.

"It's very intriguing to see a bright, white Moon take on a red, extinguished hue over the minutes," he adds. Visible with binoculars as with the naked eye, the phenomenon can give "spectacular photos" if the weather conditions are good.

The next total lunar eclipse is scheduled for November 2022, in the middle of the Pacific. In mainland France, the last dates back to January 2019 and the next will not take place until 2029.

Lunar eclipses have shown that the Earth was round "from antiquity", underlines the astronomer. “On the surface of the lunar disc, the limit between the shadow and the part illuminated by the Sun is slightly curved: this is the projection of the roundness of the Earth”.


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