In South Hillsborough, clouds cover much of rare eclipse

The clouds create an eerie veil around the half-eclipsed moon seen from Ruskin. Mitch Traphagen photo.

The clouds create an eerie veil around the half-eclipsed moon seen from Ruskin. Mitch Traphagen photo.

It was the first time since 1982, and it will be the last until 2033, and for most people in South Hillsborough, the Supermoon eclipse on Sunday night — also known as a “blood moon” — was obscured by clouds. In Ruskin, at totality just after 10 p.m., a faint red / orange disk could be seen behind the clouds. Some parts of the Tampa Bay area, however, did get lucky breaks in the clouds to see (and photograph) the red moon in the sky. The eclipse was the fourth and final eclipse of what is known as a tetrad, with eclipses occurring at six-month intervals. Although the eclipse was caused by the Earth being directly between the sun and the moon, the red color to the moon is caused by the same light that is associated with sunrises and sunset. The combination of an eclipse and a super moon, when the moon is at its closest to Earth, is relatively rare, usually happening only a handful of times in a century. Hopefully 2033 will provide a clear sky.

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