Stargazers witness rare event in supermoon eclipse - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Stargazers witness rare event in supermoon eclipse

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(Lennie Mahler/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP). Earth's shadow obscures the view of a so-called supermoon during a lunar eclipse over the LDS Temple in Salt Lake City, Utah, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015. (Lennie Mahler/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP). Earth's shadow obscures the view of a so-called supermoon during a lunar eclipse over the LDS Temple in Salt Lake City, Utah, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015.
(AP Photo/Virginia Mayo). The Earth's shadow obscures the view of a so-called supermoon during a total lunar eclipse over Antwerp, Belgium, Monday, Sept. 28, 2015. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo). The Earth's shadow obscures the view of a so-called supermoon during a total lunar eclipse over Antwerp, Belgium, Monday, Sept. 28, 2015.
(AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili). Earth's shadow begins to obscure the view of a so-called supermoon during a total lunar eclipse Monday, Sept. 28, 2015, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili). Earth's shadow begins to obscure the view of a so-called supermoon during a total lunar eclipse Monday, Sept. 28, 2015, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Stargazers were treated to a rare astronomical phenomenon when a total lunar eclipse combined with a so-called supermoon.

Depending on the weathter, it was visible in North and South America, Europe, Africa and western Asia on Sunday night or early Monday.

It was the first time the events have made a twin appearance since 1982, and they won't again until 2033.

When a full moon makes its closest approach to Earth, it appears slightly bigger and brighter than usual and has a reddish hue.

That coincides with a full lunar eclipse where the moon, Earth and sun will be lined up, with Earth's shadow totally obscuring the moon.

In Los Angeles, a large crowd filled the lawn of Griffith Observatory to watch the celestial show while listening to Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" played by 14-year-old pianist Ray Ushikubo.

"You always want to see the eclipse because they're always very different," said astronomer Edwin Krupp, the director of the hilltop landmark.

Krupp said the additional component of the earth's atmosphere adds "all kinds of twists and turns to the experience."

"What we see tonight will be different from the last event: how dark it is, how red it is. It's always interesting to see," he said.

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