A US-based astrophotographer has released a remarkable composite image showing the Moon turning red during a lunar eclipse, which lit up skies around the world.
The blood moon eclipse took place on November 8 and was visible in North and Central America, and parts of South America, the Pacific Islands, Asia and Australia.
A total lunar eclipse occurs when the entire Moon falls within the darkest part of Earth's shadow, when the Sun, Earth and Moon are aligned. When it is within this part, called the umbra, it turns a reddish hue.
Andrew McCarthy captured the phenomenon over several hours of the night in Arizona, allowing him to create the composite image of the event.
“A composite image from this morning's eclipse showing the Moon in various stages throughout the night. The size and shape of Earth's shadow is clearly visible here,” he tweeted, along with the photos.
“These events are absolutely magical to witness and quite surreal.”
Nasa further explained why the Moon turned red during the celestial event.
“During a lunar eclipse, the Moon turns red because the only sunlight reaching the Moon passes through Earth’s atmosphere,” the US space agency said.
“The more dust or clouds in Earth’s atmosphere during the eclipse, the redder the Moon will appear. It’s as if all the world’s sunrises and sunsets are projected onto the Moon.”
The next total lunar eclipse will not appear until March 14, 2025, but partial and penumbral lunar eclipses would still be visible.