Santiago, May 15 (EFE).- Thousands of people across Chile and the Americas watched the year’s first total lunar eclipse – a phenomena known as the Super Flower Blood Moon – on Sunday night.
The celestial phenomenon began with a normal eclipse, with the moon partially obscured, until at around 11.30 pm and in a matter of minutes, it took on an orange-red hue.
The event occurred due to the complete alignment of the Sun, the Moon and the Earth, astrophysicist and academic of the University of Talca’s Faculty of Engineering, Daniela Olave, told EFE.
“The light coming from the star is filtered by our atmosphere and because of this, that which reaches the Moon is seen in orange colors,” she said.
The phenomenon could be observed without any special equipment unlike solar eclipses that require special lenses, the expert added.
Chile is considered one of the world capitals of astronomy owing to its diverse characteristics that facilitate the sighting of stars, such as crystalline skies in the north and south, and an ideal position and climatic conditions.
The country is home to one of the largest observatories in the world, ALMA, a collaboration with scientists from Europe, North America and East Asia, and has 31 percent of the world’s astronomical capacity, according to the Chilean Astronomical Society’s calculations.
The country has seen several astronomical events over the past year-and-a-half, including two total eclipses in December 2020 and December 2021 and a partial one on Apr. 30.
Throughout May and June, five planets – Jupiter, Venus, Mars, Saturn and Neptune (only visible through a telescope) – will line up in a rare celestial spectacle. EFE