The total lunar eclipse coincides with the winter solstice, or the shortest day and longest night of the year, for the first time in 372 years. The next time the two events coincide will be in 2094.
The beginning of the lunar eclipse was visible in cloud-free conditions in Sweden, with the total duration of the eclipse 72 minutes.
An estimated 1.5 billion people around the world were able to witness the eclipse in all of North and South America, the northern and western parts of Europe, including Scandinavia, Russia, Siberia and a small part of northeast Asia, including Korea and Japan.
The next total lunar eclipse will not take place again until 2014.
A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon enters the earth’s shadow. However, the moon will not go completely dark since a bit of sunlight will enter the earth’s atmosphere, giving the moon a copper hue during the eclipse.
The deeper into the earth’s so-called umbra the moon goes, the darker the colour of the eclipse.
“In the far north, where the moon shines the most, it will become a bit darker than usual with the lunar eclipse. It is really gorgeous to look at, the moon becomes deep red,” Kjell Eriksson, an astronomer at Uppsala University, told newspaper Norran on Monday.
In Sweden, the show began at 8.44am in Malmö, 8.55am in Stockholm, 9.05am in Gothenburg, 9.36am in Sundsvall and 9.49am in Umeå. While the eclipse was visible for only about 15 minutes in southern Sweden, in Boden north of Luleå in the country’s north, spectators could follow the eclipse for nearly one hour.
The last total lunar eclipse visible in Sweden took place two years ago, according to Göteborgs-Posten on Sunday.