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Clouds trump lunar eclipse in Southwest Florida skies

By Staff | Sep 30, 2015

The last time a total eclipse coincided with a supermoon was in 1982 and it won’t happen again until 2033.

Unfortunately for many in moon gazers in Southwest Florida, they will have to mark their calendars for 2033, after clouds impeded the view of the total eclipse.

The “blood red moon” was last seen in April of 2015 and the next one, not coinciding with the supermoon, will be in 2018.

“The moon, during an eclipse, can take many colors, from coppery red to dull red,” said David Hanson, the coordinator for The Moore Observatory at Florida South West University. “That’s where the name ‘Blood Red Moon’ is coined. The more volcanoes which have erupted, the darker the moon would be, because of the dust in the atmosphere.”

Hanson added during a super moon, when the moon is the closest to the Earth, it is only about 11-percent larger in the sky. But it’s hard to see the difference from a regular moon, because “there is nothing to compare it to.”

The eclipse started about 9 p.m. Sunday and the full eclipse took place about 10:47 p.m., but clouds around the Fort Myers’ area did cover up the moon and the eclipse. In South Florida, skies cleared, as the eclipse lasted until about 12:27 a.m. Monday.