As many of you already know, yesterday marked the first supermoon eclipse the Earth has seen in 33 years. Not only did the eclipse coincide with a full moon, but also the lunar perigee, the point at which the moon is closest to Earth along its 27.3-day orbit. Photos and video of the cosmic event have been flooding in, but this photo from Burrard Lucas Photography might just be our favourite.  

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Image: Burrard Lucas Photography/Facebook

The image was captured in Zambia's South Luangwa National Park using the stealthy BeetleCam, a small remote-controlled camera on wheels. "A month ago I found out I was going to be here during [the eclipse]," writes Lucas on his blog. "This would be the last opportunity to photograph such an occurrence for 18 years! I immediately set about planning how I could take a photograph of this phenomenon with an African twist.

Determined to find some wild subjects, Lucas cruised the park at night (with special permissions from the rangers). "I first went to where I had seen lions the evening before. On arrival, the lions had gone but I could hear their faint roars in the distance. I followed the sound through the African night and eventually found the lions just as the eclipse was starting."

The moon, also known as a "blood moon", appears a deep crimson because of the way light interacts with the Earth's atmosphere. During the eclipse, most of the sun's light is shadowed by the Earth as it moves between the moon and our sun. But some of that light manages to get around our pale blue dot. As the light travels through our particle-rich atmosphere, almost all wavelengths are filtered out, leaving only the red behind.

"This was going to be a challenging shot to achieve for so many reasons," says Lucas. "Balancing the foreground brightness with the dim red moon was an exercise in guestimation, as was trying to compose the shot in the pitch darkness. And of course, I had to do this while trying to avoid the pride of lions running off with my BeetleCam! However, I persevered and shortly before the moonset, I managed to get [it]."


Top header image: Tyler Sichelski/Flickr