It's the 'supermoon'!
For the first time in 30 years & in a rare combination, an eclipse with a full moon occured.
JOHANNESBURG - Clear skies during the early hours of this morning allowed South Africans to witness the rare lunar eclipse of a so-called 'blood moon' or 'supermoon'.
The rare eclipse has been described as 'other-worldly', with weather conditions making it a perfect spectacle for South Africans.
For the first time in 33 years, the moon, earth and sun aligned to present a large, swollen moon being eclipsed and painted a rusty red by our planet's shadow.
The eclipse was observed around the globe with sky gazers sharing photographs and video on social media.
Over Johannesburg, the moon appeared swollen, painted a rusty red and orange by the earth's shadow.
Environmental and Science reporter Simon Gear shared the spectacle with his son and says conditions were just right.
"It was a really perfect morning for viewing it, clear perfect skies in Gauteng and over Cape Town as well. And so they would have seen a very bright, large full moon that gradually became almost dusted over with red."
Gear says, "It really didn't look very much like our usual moon at all. It was almost like other worldly object and the lights that we'd normally get from a big full moon also disappeared and got quite a lot darker with it."
Sky gazers around the globe shared photographs of the sighting on social media:
Sky watchers witnessed #SuperBloodMoon on Sunday; The rare phenomenon won't occur until 2033
They're not NASA pictures but they're good enough pic.twitter.com/PU8kmjcKp0
- Zeppie (@ZeppieTiani) September 28, 2015
The phenomenon was witnessed in North and South America, Europe, Africa and parts of West Asia and the eastern Pacific.
In South Africa, the beginning of the eclipse of the moon was visible from around 3am while in the United States it began at 8pm.
The full eclipse starts two hours later and lasts for one hour and 12 minutes.
It has been more than 30 years since a supermoon combined with a lunar eclipse, said Nasa.
The next total lunar eclipse will not be until 2018 while the next supermoon-lunar eclipse combination will not happen until 2033.
For more than an hour, earth's shadow blanketed the full moon as the planet passed between the sun and the moon.
The brilliant white glow of the moon slowly transformed into a dim red.
The coloring is caused by earth's atmosphere scattering sunlight into the shadow.
Because the moon is not perfectly round, its distance from Earth varies by about 49,900 km as it circles around the planet every 27 days.
At its closest point, known as perigee, the moon comes as close as 363,104 km from earth.
At apogee, the most distant point, the moon is 406,696 km away.