Full lunar eclipse delights Americas, 1st of year

The moon turns an orange hue during a total lunar eclipse on Tuesday, April 15, 2014, in the sky above Phoenix. On April 29, the Southern Hemisphere will be treated to a type of solar eclipse. In all, four eclipses will occur this year, two lunar and two solar. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
The moon turns an orange hue during a total lunar eclipse on Tuesday, April 15, 2014, in the sky above Phoenix. On April 29, the Southern Hemisphere will be treated to a type of solar eclipse. In all, four eclipses will occur this year, two lunar and two solar. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

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.

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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 survived the eclipse. Scientists had feared LADEE might freeze up in the cold darkness.