At sunset last night, a massive crowd of hundreds of people gathered on Bernal Hill to watch a once-in-a-generation event: a supermoon lunar eclipse. PBS Newshour explained what the fuss was all about:
Sunday night, the sun, earth and a full moon will be in a straight line, making the moon, which is in its closing point of orbit, appear much brighter than usual. This phenomenon, referred to as “supermoon” total lunar eclipse, hasn’t happened in 33 years and won’t for another 18 years.
Basically, at the very moment when the moon’s orbit put it closest to Earth (making it a supermoon), the moon, Earth, and the sun were also arranged in a line (creating an eclipse). This gave the big moon a creepy red color, which is why lots of people also call this a “bloodmoon” (or, in the contemporary argot, #bloodmoon).
Like many others, Neighbor Susie was drawn to Bernal Hill to watch the spectacle, and she shared this photo of the scene:
Here’s a panorama perspective from Neighbor Art:
For all the celestial pilgrims who stuck around, it was well worth the wait. Neighbor Rusty shot this image from Holliday Street:
The super-duper blood moon was amazing. Yet later in the evening, things got even more intense. Here’s some EXCLUSIVE footage of what happened at Sutrito Tower shortly after the bloodmoon eclipse reached its apex:
UPPER PHOTOS: Top, supermoon, Sept 27, by Rusty Hodge. Middle, crowd on Bernal Hill by Fred Sharples. Bottom, supermoon over Bernal as seen from Billy Goat Hill, by Charlie.
4 thoughts on “Hundreds Gather on Bernal Hill to Watch Supermoon Eclipse, Have Close Encounter”
Thanks for posting these fantastic photos! I made the mistake of driving up to the top of the hill. After finally finding a parking space, I stumbled through the weeds to a viewing spot, having forgotten my flashlight. Still, worth it.
To clarify: The color of the totally eclipsed moon has nothing to do with its distance from the earth. The “blood moon” coloring occurs because red rays of sunlight are refracted by the earth’s atmosphere into the umbra–the darkest part of earth’s shadow–through which the moon passes during totality. There will be many more total lunar eclipses in the 18 years until the next “supermoon-eclipse” and they all will appear similar to yesterday’s event, which was a much rarer coincidence of a full moon at perigee–closest to earth in its elliptical orbit–when the eclipse occurred.
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