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People's Daily Online>>Science

Chinese stargazers unite under "Red Moon"

(Xinhua)

13:49, December 12, 2011

The Combined photo shows the moon in various stages of a total lunar eclipse over Shenchi, north China's Shanxi Province, on Dec. 10, 2011. (Xinhua/Fan Minda)

BEIJING, Dec. 10 (Xinhua) -- Enthusiastic skywatchers across China swarmed to streets, planetariums and mountains to watch the total lunar eclipse on Saturday night, the best such celestial show in China in ten years.

The spectacle, which could be admired in much of the world, began at around 7:30 p.m. in Beijing and lasted for six hours, when Earth moved between the sun and the moon and cast its shadow over the lunar disk.

However, the refracted sunlight still illuminated the moon, making it appear reddish and supersized.

In Beijing, more than 500 astrophiles went to the city's planetarium to watch the sky show with the help of four optical telescopes.

"The lunar eclipse tonight is quite enjoyable for ordinary watchers as it happens at such a fine Saturday night," said Zhu Jin, head of Beijing Planetarium.

In Hangzhou, capital of east China's Zhejiang Province, local residents and tourists took to the West Lake despite a steep drop in temperature after a cold front swept across the region.

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