By Léo Azambuja


The Blood Moon seen from Kaua‘i’s Eastside Monday night.

Kaua‘i folks were treated to a stunning display of beauty Monday night, during the first total lunar eclipse of the year, when the Moon took on a reddish tone.

For most of North and South America, the eclipse happened in the early hours of Tuesday. In Hawai‘i and on the Mainland’s west coast, the eclipse began Monday night.

The eclipse lasted just over three-and-a-half hours. It started right before 8 p.m. and ended a few minutes after 11:30 p.m.

A total lunar eclipse can only happen at full Moon, and the Moon must pass completely through the Earth’s shadow, according to NASA. During a total lunar eclipse, the entire Moon is shadowed, turning into a copper red color for an hour or more.

There are also two other types of lunar eclipses.

TLE2014Apr15-HSTDuring a penumbral eclipse, the Moon passes through the outskirts of the Earth’s shadow, called the penumbra. Because it’s such a subtle event, most people don’t notice this type of eclipse.

In a partial lunar eclipse, the Moon passes through the core of the Earth’s shadow, or the umbra, though not completely, thus darkening a fraction of the Moon.

The next total lunar eclipse will happen Oct. 28. This year, there will also be an annular solar eclipse April 29 and a partial solar eclipse Oct. 23.

Next year, there will be two total lunar eclipses, one in April and another one in September.