Monday's "blood moon" total lunar eclipse was the first in more than three years to be visible from Los Angeles and uninterrupted by sunrise.
Hundreds flocked to Griffith Observatory, cameras, cellphones and iPads at the ready to see the rare event.
Some came hours before the lunar spectacle, but a hush fell over the balconies and grassy lawn as the eclipse began and onlookers jockeyed for prime viewing spots.
In Los Angeles, the most impressive part began about 11 p.m. when the first "bite" was taken out of the moon. The moon was blotted out by 12:06 a.m. Tuesday, experts at the observatory said.
The last total lunar eclipse began the evening of Dec. 20, 2010, peaking at 12:17 a.m. Dec. 21, according to the observatory.
There will be other lunar eclipses soon, but the next two will peak at less convenient times in California: 3:54 a.m. Oct. 8 and 5 a.m. April 4, 2015.
But on Sept. 27, 2015, an early evening total eclipse will hit its peak at 7:47 p.m.
“We’ve got four in a row that we’re going to be seeing here in North America, which is pretty nice,” said Joe Sirard, an amateur astronomer who is also a National Weather Service meteorologist in Oxnard. “It doesn’t happen too often that we get to see that many in a row.”
Heven Renteria, 31, said he fell in love with the sky at age 6 while visiting the observatory with his mother. Gazing at the stars while overseas serving as a Marine brought him back to astronomy as a hobby.
Onlookers posted their photos of the blood moon to social media during and after the event. (Mobile users can click here to view.)
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