Total lunar eclipse: Where and when to view the blood moon

Total lunar eclipse as seen in Manila, The Philippines on December 10, 2011. (Getty Images)

On Tuesday April 15, there will be a total eclipse of the moon. During this time, the moon will turn coppery red, a phenomenon known as “Blood Moon”.

On Tuesday April 15, there will be a total eclipse of the moon. During this time, the moon will turn coppery red, a phenomenon known as “Blood Moon”.

Watch the livestream here

What is a total lunar eclipse?

“A lunar eclipse is when the moon passes the Earth’s shadow,” said astrophysicist Dr Katherine Mack from the University of Melbourne.

Why does the moon turn red?

“It appears dark and red because sunlight is filtering through the Earth’s atmosphere and only the red light is getting through and shining on the moon,” said Dr Mack. “So it ends up looking very dramatic.”

Is it safe to look at the moon at this time?

Yes, it's safe to look at the moon and to photograph a lunar eclipse.

Where are the best locations to view the blood moon?

“The eclipse starts when the moon is below the horizon. By the time the moon rises, it will already be in full eclipse, it will already be red,” Dr Mack told SBS.

“So the best place to look will be anywhere where you have a really good view of the eastern horizon. Ideally, you want to get up a little bit high so you can see as much of the eclipse as possible and have a clear view to the east.

“If you had a view to the east by the ocean that would be perfect.”

What are the best times to view the lunar eclipse?

The Sydney Observatory has listed the best times to view the blood moon in Australia:

  • Adelaide: The Moon rises at 5.48pm; total eclipse ends at 5.55pm; the eclipse ends at 7.03pm
  • Brisbane: The Moon rises at 5.27pm; maximum eclipse is at 5.46pm; total eclipse ends at 6.25pm; the eclipse ends at 7.33pm.
  • Darwin: The Moon rises at 6.41pm; the eclipse ends at 7.33pm.
  • Hobart: The Moon rises at 5.33pm; maximum eclipse is at 5.46pm; total eclipse ends at 6.25pm; the eclipse ends at 7.33pm.
  • Melbourne: The Moon rises at 5.49pm; total eclipse ends at 6.25pm; the eclipse ends at 7.33pm.
  • Sydney: The Moon rises at 5.28pm; maximum eclipse is at 5.46pm; total eclipse ends at 6.25pm; the eclipse ends at 7.33pm.

The timing means that Perth will miss out on the eclipse, while residents in New Zealand are able to view to entire event.

If you can’t see the lunar eclipse in your city, you can live stream it via NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center. (Note: Footage will be from the Northern Hemisphere)


Live streaming video by Ustream

Upcoming total lunar eclipses

In Australia, total lunar eclipses will happen again on 8 October 2014 and 4 April 2015. In parts of the Northern Hemisphere there will also be a total lunar eclipse on 27 September 2015.

 

Source SBS

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