Get the best view of rare su­per moon eclipse

NewsMail - - NEWS - – staff re­porters

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 vir­tu­al­te­le­


RARE: A su­per moon, blue moon and lu­nar eclipse will co­in­cide tonight for the first time in 35 years.

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