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Dublin: 8 °C Monday 18 February, 2019
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Here's how the 'super wolf blood moon' looked over Ireland early this morning

The phenomenon was the only lunar eclipse that was visible in Ireland this year.

The moon captured above Rathfarnham fire station
The moon captured above Rathfarnham fire station
Image: Twitter/@DubFireBrigade

AN UNUSUAL SET of celestial circumstances came together last night as sky-watchers in Europe, Africa and the Americas witnessed a ’super blood wolf moon’.

The moon was slightly closer to Earth than usual, appearing bigger and brighter at the same time as the only total lunar eclipse of the year. 

The eclipse lasted about three hours, with the first hour seeing the full moon gradually swallowed up by the shadow of the Earth.

That was followed by an hour of total eclipse, where the moon was not invisible but instead appeared tinted in hues of red, orange and pink, followed finally by its full reemergence, bright and shining.

In Ireland, the eclipse began at around 3:40am, and peaked at around 5:15am before ending just before 7am. 

At its peak, where night skies were clear of clouds, with Venus and Jupiter shining brightly in the night sky.

A cluster of stars – known as the ‘Beehive Cluster’ – could also be seen above the moon when was eclipsed, according to Astronomy Ireland founder, David Moore. 

New Jersey Daily Life The moon is seen in its waxing gibbous stage as it rises behind the Empire State Building, New York Source: PA Images

Blood Moon The supermoon rises above the Maritime Prowess statue in Hull, UK Source: PA Images

BRITAIN-LONDON-SUPERMOON The supermoon rising over London Source: PA Images

Russia Lunar Eclipse The eclipse behind statues on the roof of the State Hermitage museum in St.Petersburg, Russia Source: PA Images

But not everyone was fortunate enough to witness the moon: in London, for example, astronomy enthusiasts hopes were dashed by a cloudy night. 

Total or partial lunar eclipses happen at least twice a year on average, Florent Deleflie, an astronomer at the Observatory of Paris-PSL told AFP.

However, it’s rare that a total lunar eclipse is visible on so many parts of the Earth’s land mass, as was the case last night.

Blood Moon The 'super blood wolf moon' over Ashford in Kent. Source: PA Images

Total Lunar Eclipse - Saxony The red, so-called blood moon behind a Mattielli statue on the Catholic Court Church in Dresden, Germany Source: DPA/PA Images

Total Lunar Eclipse - North Rhine-Westphalia The full moon as a blood moon above the chimney of a blast furnace in Duisburg, Germany Source: DPA/PA Images

Raymond Beggan supermoon The supermoon above Dublin Source: Raymond Beggan

Super Blood Moon 2018: The Gaza Strip A red supermoon rises over the north of the Gaza Strip in Palestine Source: Fadi Thabet/PA Images

Blood Moon 2019 The eclipse above Carlow Source: Fergal Gleeson

Europeans last saw a total lunar eclipse in July 2018. The next chance for a glimpse at a lunar eclipse will be in 2022, but the entire continent won’t be able to see the totality of a lunar eclipse again until 2029.

North Americans may get their next glimpse of a blood moon in 2021 along the west coast and 2022 on the east coast.

© – AFP 2019 with additional reporting from Zuzia Whelan

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