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Monday, November 19 , 2018, 12:15 pm | Fair with Haze 65º

 
 
 
 
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Santa Barbara County Feels Gravitational Pull of Rare Super Moon, Eclipse

Crowds turn out at vantage points to see rare celestrial event known as 'blood moon,' although clouds obscure views for some

Crowds turned out at vantage point throughout Santa Barbara County Sunday night to catch a view of the “blood moon,” the combination of a “super moon” and an eclipse.
Crowds turned out at vantage point throughout Santa Barbara County Sunday night to catch a view of the “blood moon,” the combination of a “super moon” and an eclipse. (Mike Eliason photo)

Nearly every vantage point in Santa Barbara County was crowded Sunday night with people hoping to witness a rare celestial event — a “super moon” accompanied by a lunar eclipse.

From La Cumbre Peak to the Santa Barbara waterfront to Farren Road west of Goleta — as well as vantage points throughout the county — all eyes were turned eastward to catch a glimpse of the rising moon and eclipse, a phenomenon known as a “blood moon” that had not been experienced in more than three decades.

High cloudiness that poured into the region earlier in the day made viewing difficult in some locations, but others were graced with relatively clear skies.

According to the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, the super moon’s eclipse lasted 72 minutes, beginning at 7:11 p.m. and ending at 8:23 p.m. The peak of the eclipse was at 7:47 p.m.

A super moon eclipse is a rare occurrence. Since 1900, there have been just five, in 1910, 1928, 1946, 1964 and 1982.

After Sunday's, we won’t see another until 2033.

Super moons — officially perigee full moons — occur when a new or full moon is at its closest point to Earth in its elliptical orbit. On Sunday evening, it was about 222,631 miles away. On average, the moon is 238,855 miles away.

Lunar scientists say the moon in such cases appears about 30 percent brighter and 14 percent larger than normal.

This super moon, often called a Harvest Moon because it accompanies the arrival of autumn, was the second of three in row. The previous one was visible Aug. 29 and the third will follow on Oct. 27.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

In anticipation of Sunday night’s lunar light show, by 7 p.m. hundreds of people had packed Shoreline Park in Santa Barbara, eagerly looking for the moonrise in the east. Click to view larger
In anticipation of Sunday night’s lunar light show, by 7 p.m. hundreds of people had packed Shoreline Park in Santa Barbara, eagerly looking for the moonrise in the east. (Ruben Orozco photo)
A crowd views Sunday night’s “blood moon” from Santa Barbara City College. Click to view larger
A crowd views Sunday night’s “blood moon” from Santa Barbara City College. (Urban Hikers / Noozhawk photo)
The view from the foothills west of Santa Barbara. Click to view larger
The view from the foothills west of Santa Barbara. (Lauren Hansen photo)

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