The longest lunar eclipse in more than a decade turned the moon blood red on Thursday, yielding a rare visual treat for stargazers across a large swathe of the planet from Australia to Europe. The first eclipse of the year, when the Earth casts its shadow over the moon, was seen in parts of Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia. Often the moon turns brown in an eclipse but this time it became a reddish, coppery colour.
Contrary to some Internet chatter, the moons vivid red hue was not necessarily the result of ash from the erupting Puyehue volcano, high in Chiles Andes, according to Sydney Observatory astronomer Geoffrey Wyatt.
“We cant say for sure,” he said.”The red colour is not caused by dust in the atmosphere. What dust does is extinguish colour and make it look darker.”