Australians will see the full moon turn blood red on Wednesday during a total lunar eclipse.
It’s big. It’s red. And it’s coming to a night sky near you.
On Wednesday night Australians will get the chance to witness a total lunar eclipse that will turn the full moon a deep red colour for an hour.
West Australians will see the total eclipse but will miss the entire passage of the earth’s shadow across the face of the moon because the eclipse begins before the moon rises over WA.
Astronomer Alan Duffy of Melbourne’s Swinburne University of Technology said a lunar eclipse occurs when the earth gets between the sun and the moon, casting a shadow across the moon that causes it to turn a blood red colour.
“It’s like all the sunsets around the entire earth shining on the moon. I love that description,” Dr Duffy told AAP.
“The atmosphere bends the light from the sunset around and gives the moon that red colour.
“Without the atmosphere, the moon would just be dark (during a lunar eclipse).”
Dr Duffy said this eclipse will be much more spectacular than one that was visible in Australia in April.
“This one will be the real McCoy,” he said.
“Australia is the perfect place to see the long lunar eclipse experience, weather permitting, and we will see that distinctive blood red colour.”
Lunar eclipses occur at least twice a year, but lunar eclipse lovers can expect seven to occur in 2038.
WHEN TO WATCH (local times):
NSW/ACT/VIC/TAS: Eclipse begins 8.15pm, total eclipse 9.25pm-10.25pm, eclipse ends 11.35pm. QLD: minus one hour for all times
SA: Eclipse starts 7.45pm, total eclipse 8.55pm-9.55pm, eclipse ends 11.05pm. NT: minus one hour for all times
WA: Moon rises at 6.19pm, total eclipse 6.25pm-7.25pm, eclipse ends 8.35pm.