Blood moon, Bernina Range, Eastern Alps, Engadin, Switzerland
© Bernd Zoller/Shutterstoc
Total lunar eclipse
A total lunar eclipse is sometimes called a ‘blood moon’. The spooky nickname comes from the reddish colour of the Moon when Earth casts its shadow upon it. Featured here is a blood moon over the Swiss Alps. A total lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth and Moon align perfectly with the Sun, and the Moon falls directly behind Earth’s shadow. When Earth falls behind the Moon’s shadow, a solar eclipse occurs.
While total eclipses of the Sun get more attention, total lunar eclipses are also impressive. You can look directly at a total lunar eclipse without any worry of harming your eyes, and they're viewable by far more people than solar eclipses. That’s because a total lunar eclipse can last for hours, while solar eclipses last just a few minutes. In addition, lunar eclipses can be seen anywhere on the night-time side of the world, while total solar eclipses occur only within a narrow longitude on the planet.