Get the best view of rare super moon eclipse
IT’S been called a rare trifecta and some Aussies should get the best view tonight.
The world is about to see a rare lunar event – the “super red blue moon” or “super blue blood moon” – as three phenomena converge at the same time: a super moon, an eclipse and a blue moon.
Each of these events has its own cycle, but tonight they all happen at the same time in Queensland – but not in NSW.
There it is not a blue moon – a second full moon in a calendar month – because NSW runs on daylight saving, so the full moon does not fall in January but in February.
The moon will spend just over three hours passing through Earth’s shadow and some of that time will be a total lunar eclipse.
The redness comes during an eclipse when the sun and moon are in one straight line with the Earth exactly between and the moon passing through Earth’s shadow.
As the sunlight passes through our atmosphere, it bends and that gives the moon a redness.
The lunar eclipse is safe to observe with no equipment – just the naked eye.
Go outdoors before it starts and look for a big moon. Visibility will depend on weather – and the further away from artificial light you get, the better.
The “blue” probably comes from an old word for a betrayer (belewe) and does not refer to a visible colour.
A super moon occurs when the moon is closest to Earth in its elliptical orbit – about 25,000km closer than average. This makes it seem 15 per cent bigger and about 30 per cent brighter.
Across the NSW North Coast and into Queensland the eclipsing starts at 10.48pm NSW time and 9.48pm Queensland time, eclipsing fully from 11.51pm/ 10.51pm to 1.08am/12.08am and ending at 2.12am/1.12am.
The full moon in NSW will not occur until after midnight.
It’s worth checking with local amateur astronomy groups about viewing parties. And if it rains, you should be able to catch it on virtualtelescope.eu/webtv.
RARE: A super moon, blue moon and lunar eclipse will coincide tonight for the first time in 35 years.