• lunar eclipse 2011
    (Photo: Reuters/NASA/Handout)
    This undated NASA handout image of the moon was photographed by the Expedition 28 crew aboard the International Space Station.
  • lunar eclipse 2011
    Photo: REUTERS/Juan Carlos Ulate (COSTA RICA)
    The moon is seen, during a phase of a total lunar eclipse, from a viewpoint in Alajuela, 20 milles of San Jose, Costa Rica February 20, 2008. An eclipse of the Moon takes place at Full Moon, and only if the Moon passes through some portion of Earth's shadow.
By Simon Saavedra, Christian Post Correspondent
December 11, 2011|1:59 pm

The last lunar eclipse of 2011 and the last until 2014 took place during the morning of Dec. 10.

The celestial event viewable to the United States, as well as Australia, New Zealand and some parts of Asia began at 4:45 a.m. PST, and by 6:05 a.m. PST the moon was totally covered by the Earth's shadow, also known as the "total phase."

According to Space.com in addition to casting a reddish glow, the moon appeared to be "supersized and inflated giving observers a special treat."

Hundreds of observers carrying cameras and telescopes gathered at the Griffith Observatory early Saturday morning to get a glimpse of the event reported the LATimes.

"This was my first time viewing a lunar eclipse, and certainly it won't be my last," shared Sarah Borges of San Diego, CA.

Susan McDowell of Los Angeles, CA commented, "It was a pinkish, reddish, orangish light show. If the word 'awesomeness' doesn't describe it then I don't know what would."

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Like all lunar eclipses, this 51-minute lunar eclipse happened when the Earth stepped in between the moon and the sun blocking sun light to reach the moon and instead casting an Earth-created shadow over it.

Unlike solar eclipses, lunar eclipses are safe to view without special ocular filters.

The next total lunar eclipse viewable from the U.S. is April 15, 2014.