Rare eclipse tonight is once in a red moon
COAST stargazers will be glued to the heavens tonight, as the moon is expected to turn a brilliant blood red during a total lunar eclipse.
With the event to begin shortly before sundown, the total eclipse should begin at about 8.25pm and the moon is set to appear blood red for about an hour.
The blood moon occurs when the sun, moon and Earth align, with the Earth blocking sunlight to the moon.
As a result, light from the sun is bent around the Earth's atmosphere, and reflected on to the moon.
Astronomer Owen Bennedick, of Wappa Falls Observatory, said all signs pointed to a pretty spectacular event, with dry conditions in the west meaning plenty of dust in the atmosphere.
"If there's good dust in the
atmosphere we should get a nice, red moon," Mr Bennedick said.
"You'll need to be down at the coastline (to see the whole thing), but you'll need a really good eastern horizon to see the beginning of it."
The second eclipse of the year, tonight's event marks the first total eclipse of 2014, and the next few nights are set to provide great viewing for fans of the moon.
"The following night there'll still be a nice moon and again on Friday night we'll have a full moon," Mr Bennedick said.
The event is expected to last more than three hours tonight.
Eclipse begins at 7.15pm
Total eclipse begins at 8.25pm
Total eclipse ends at 9.25pm
Eclipse ends at 10.35pm