Picture perfect celestial sight
WHILE everyone else was likely sleeping, Tasmanian astronomer Shevill Mathers stayed up waiting to capture the perfect picture of the longest “blood moon” eclipse of the century.
The moon started turning red about 4.30am yesterday before the sun, Earth and moon aligned during a total eclipse for one hour and 43 minutes from 5.25am.
Mr Mathers told the Sunday Tasmanian he did not expect the lengthy celestial spectacle to happen again for some years.
“Last night’s eclipse went for so long that I was able to sit, watch and enjoy it, as well as photograph it,” he said.
“We had a partial solar eclipse this month and now we’ve had the longest-lasting total lunar eclipse of the century. It’s been an absolute astronomer’s smorgasbord.
“Each one is different and the colour can change depending on where you are in the world and the atmosphere but we had an excellent view here in Tasmania.”
A total lunar eclipse takes place when the Earth comes directly between the sun and moon, casting a reddish-orange shadow on the surface of the moon.
The rosy colour is why a total lunar eclipse is often referred to as a “blood moon”.