LOS ANGELES (CBSLA/AP) — The skies put on a show Wednesday morning that had even Hollywood starstruck — or rather, moonstruck.

ea1f3ac0d3b9445e9594b01ab0d21ec9 Los Angeles Starstruck By Super Blue Blood Moon Eclipse

(credit: CBS)

For the first time in 35 years, a blue moon synced up with a supermoon and a total lunar eclipse.

Skywatchers camped out at Griffith Observatory to get a prime viewing spot of the rare triple lunar event. One man who identified himself as Merrick said he had just seen the solar eclipse in August.

“I mean, to be able to see two things like this in a six-month period in your lifetime, even one of them, it’s just absolutely amazing. It’s indescribable, really,” he said.

During totality, astronomer Dr. E.C. Krupp donned wizard’s garb to lead a parade and a chant of “dragons, be gone!” around the Griffith Observatory’s front lawn. It’s an ancient ritual that he says were performed by primitive peoples during lunar eclipses in the past.

Hawaii and Alaska had the best view of the eclipse, along with the Canadian Yukon, Australia and Asia. Los Angeles and the rest of the western U.S. also had good viewing, too, along with Russia. The U.S. East Coast, Europe and most of South America and Africa were out of luck for the eclipse.

PHOTO GALLERY: Super Blue Blood Moon Eclipse Seen Across The Globe

The second full moon in a calendar month is a blue moon. This one also happens to be an especially close and bright moon, or supermoon. Add a total eclipse, known as a blood moon for its red tint, and it’s a lunar showstopper.

gettyimages 912614818 Los Angeles Starstruck By Super Blue Blood Moon Eclipse

A Super Blue Blood Moon hovers over Los Angeles, California in the early hours of January 31, 2018, during an event not seen since 1866 when three fairly common lunar happenings occur at the same time. (Photo credit: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

NASA is calling it a lunar trifecta: the first super blue blood moon since 1982. That combination won’t happen again until 2037.

The space agency plans to provide a live stream of the moon from ground telescopes, throughout the eclipse.

A lunar eclipse occurs when the sun, Earth and moon line up perfectly, casting Earth’s shadow on the moon.

Scientists are keen to study the sharp, sudden drop in temperature at the lunar surface, as Earth’s shadow blankets the moon. During the more than one hour of totality, the temperature will plunge 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 Celsius), said lunar scientist Noah Petro of Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

He’s deputy project scientist for NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, circling the moon since 2009. His team is taking special precautions to keep the spacecraft warm during the eclipse.

Perhaps just as important, Petro and others are hoping the big event gets more people looking up — not just Wednesday, but every day.

For the trivia crowd, the moon will be 223,820 miles (360,200 kilometers) away at the peak of the eclipse, close enough for supermoon status.

(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Comments (2)
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