By Harrison Carter
On Saturday morning Australians will have the rare opportunity to witness a blood moon, a lunar event where the moon turns red. This will be a case of ‘the early bird gets the worm’, given that the event will take place from around 4 am, with people in the central tablelands being able to view the blood moon at its peak just before 5:30 in the morning. This isn’t the first lunar eclipse of the year, however this lunar event will last longer than any other lunar eclipse in the past century. Saturday mornings eclipse will be visible for close to two hours. The next total lunar eclipse is predicted to be 123 years away, in 2021.
The blood moon will be visible to anyone in Australia, with an unobstructed view of the sky to the west, without any special viewing equipment, unlike a solar eclipse which requires viewing instruments to protect the onlookers eyes. With a party cloudy morning predicted for the Central West, conditions could make or break the early morning experience for Bathurst’s keen astronomers, with the red moon not being able to be seen through cloud cover.
Photo: With partly cloudy skies predicted for Saturday morning, viewing of the blood moon may be obstructed. Photograph: Yahoo 7
In order for a blood moon to occur, the Earth, the sun and moon must all be aligned. As the moon enters the Earth’s shadow, it gets darker and begins turning a deep red due to the light reflecting off the Earth from the sun.
Main image: Saturday mornings blood moon will be the longest lunar eclipse of the last century. Photograph: Gizmodo Australia.