Skywatchers gather at U.S. Space & Rocket Center to watch lunar eclipse

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Huntsville, Ala (WHNT)-- Crowds gathered early Wednesday morning outside the Davidson Center for Space Exploration at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center to get an up-close view of the total lunar eclipse.

The full eclipse began around 5:25 a.m. local time and lasted for about an hour.

"Well I was really worried when we left the house, because it was cloudy and lightning and I told her, 'I don't know if we're going to get to see anything,'" said Bo Carr. Bo traveled with his daughter Madison all the way from Estill Springs to watch the eclipse.

The moon appears as a burnt orange color due to the sunlight scattering off Earth's atmosphere. This change in color is where the term "blood moon" came about last year.

Only total lunar eclipses cause the moon to turn this reddish color.

Check out some of the photos we've received into photo@whnt.com in the gallery below. You can submit your photos to us by clicking 'Submit Your Photo' at the bottom of this story.

A neat fact-- NASA says that before the dawn of the 20th century, there was a 300-year period where no lunar eclipses occurred.

Total lunar eclipses like what occurred Wednesday morning usually happen at least once a year. Wednesday's eclipse is a part of what's called a tetrad-- or a series of four lunar eclipses. The last one occurred earlier this year. The next lunar eclipse will take place on April 4, 2015.

Some observers of the eclipse may have also witnessed an extremely rare astronomical phenomenon. A "selenelion" event happens when you can see the moon in its final stages of eclipse and the sun rising on the opposite horizon.

Don't put away your telescopes just yet-- we in the Tennessee Valley will be able to briefly witness a partial solar eclipse later this month on October 23rd.