Once in a super blue blood moon

Paris -- Parts of the world were treated to a veritable lunar bonanza this week, an astronomical hat-trick known as the “super blue blood moon” -- an extra big 'super' moon, a rare 'blue' moon and a total lunar eclipse.

The confluence was a result of several phenomena. First, the Sun, Earth and Moon lined up perfectly for a total lunar eclipse. Then came the "super" -- the Moon was at its closest point to the Earth, making it appear extra large. Then there was the "blue" -- it was the second full moon in the same month, a phenomenon called a "blue moon," which occurs once every two years and eight months. And finally the "blood" -- that came from the reddish color that the Moon takes on when the Earth comes between it and the Sun. 

It was the first super blue blood moon in 36 years, so AFP photographers in the areas where it could be seen ---- western North America, Asia, the Middle East and Australia -- got busy capturing the moment.

Here are some of our favorite shots.

super blue blood moonLos Angeles. (AFP / Robyn Beck)
super blue blood moonSingapore. (AFP / Roslan Rahman)
super blue blood moonTijuana, Mexico. (AFP / Guillermo Arias)
super blue blood moonThe Acropolis, Athens. (AFP / Angelos Tzortzinis)
super blue blood moonSurabaya, Indonesia. (AFP / Juni Kriswanto)
The 'super blue blood moon' obscured by clouds illuminates Mayon volcano as it spews ash near Legazpi City, Albay province, early on February 1, 2018.The Mayon volcano, Philippines. (AFP / Ted Aljibe)
The 'super blue blood moon' obscured by clouds illuminates Mayon volcano as it spews ash near Legazpi City, Albay province, early on February 1, 2018.The Mayon volcano, Philippines. (AFP / Ted Aljibe)

 

super blue blood moonMadrid. (AFP / Pierre-philippe Marcou)
super blue blood moonCali, Colombia. (AFP / Luis Robayo)
super blue blood moonBangalore, India. (AFP / Manjunath Kiran)
super blue blood moonSan Diego, California, USA. (AFP / Sandy Huffaker)
super blue blood moonAllahabad, India. (AFP / Sanjay Kanojia)
super blue blood moonPyongyang, North Korea. (AFP / Kim Won-jin)

 

In the cities

Jerusalem. (AFP / Menahem Kahana)
San Francisco. (AFP / Josh Edelson)
Skopje, Macedonia. (AFP / Robert Atanasovski)
Los Angeles. (AFP / Robyn Beck)
San Francisco. (AFP / Josh Edelson)

 

Combination shots

How it happened

(AFP Graphics)

 

 

 

Yana Dlugy