Full lunar eclipse delights Americas, 1st of year

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Associated Press

Posted on April 15, 2014 at 9:35 AM

Updated Tuesday, Apr 15 at 9:37 AM

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Sky-gazers in North and South America were treated to a full lunar eclipse — at least those fortunate enough to have clear skies.

The moon was eclipsed by the Earth's shadow early Tuesday, beginning around 1 a.m. EDT for 5 ½ hours. The total phase of the eclipse lasted just 78 minutes.

For some, the moon appeared red-orange because of all the sunsets and sunrises shimmering from Earth, thus the name "blood moon."

It's the first of four eclipses this year and the first of four total lunar eclipses this year and next. In the meantime, get ready for a solar eclipse in two weeks.

NASA got good news Tuesday: Its moon-orbiting spacecraft, LADEE (LA'-dee) survived the eclipse. Scientists had feared LADEE might freeze up in the cold darkness.

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