Here's what you missed if you slept through the lunar eclipse

A full lunar eclipse happened over Newfoundland and Labrador Tuesday morning. The event is pictured here over Portugal Cove-St. Philip's.  (Garrett Barry/CBC - image credit)
A full lunar eclipse happened over Newfoundland and Labrador Tuesday morning. The event is pictured here over Portugal Cove-St. Philip's. (Garrett Barry/CBC - image credit)
Garrett Barry/CBC
Garrett Barry/CBC

The experience of Tuesday's total lunar eclipse over Newfoundland and Labrador — for people who were awake to see it — varied depending on where they were in the province.

Large cloud cover over Portugal Cove-St. Philip's, on the island's Avalon Peninsula, kept the peak of the eclipse — when the moon turns red — hidden from spectators.

But the lead-up to the peak was still a sight to behold as the moon slowly disappeared into Earth's shadow.

Memorial University physics professor Hilding Neilson was out early to take in the astrological event.

Mike Rossiter/CBC
Mike Rossiter/CBC

"Worldwide, a lunar eclipse is not that rare. It happens a couple of times a year," Neilson said while keeping his eyes set on the moon.

"For Newfoundland, we get a lunar eclipse once every two to three years if we get lucky."

Mike Rossiter/CBC
Mike Rossiter/CBC

Neilson and his team study stars and model their structure, evolution and radiation to understand the detailed physics and how scientists can use stars as better tools for studying cosmology and planets outside our solar system.

While lunar eclipses don't last very long, he said, there's a big event he's looking ahead to in a couple of years.

"The total part is about a half hour to an hour. A partial, a few hours before that," he said.

"The big event is coming in 2024. We're going to have a total solar eclipse that's going to pass through the United States and then to Newfoundland through the southwest coast and into Gander. So we'll be near the edge of a total solar eclipse in April 2024."

Submitted by Steve Hewitt
Submitted by Steve Hewitt
Submitted by Steve Hewitt
Submitted by Steve Hewitt

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador