Categories: World

Rare ‘blood moon’ to excite skygazers

Aussie skygazers will have the rare treat of seeing a total lunar eclipse where the moon turns into a blood-red astronomical body.

Avid viewers, armed with binoculars or a telescope for a better viewing experience, should circle Tuesday as the night before a phenomenon that will not be seen for the next three years.

‘Blood Supermoon’ will rise over Australia’s east coast in 2021.Credit:James Alcock

A blood moon occurs when the sun, earth and moon are aligned in such a way that the moon passes into the shadow of the earth.

Astrophysicist Brad Tucker of the Australian National University (ANU) explained that when you look at the moon during the total lunar eclipse, “you see the sunrise and sunset of the Earth illuminating the moon”.

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“Just as sunrise and sunset are orange or reddish, so is this light that skims through Earth’s atmosphere into space,” he said.

According to NASA, the more dust or clouds there are in Earth’s atmosphere during the total lunar eclipse, the redder the moon will be.

The blood moon lasts nearly three hours and is visible in New Zealand, the Americas and parts of Asia.

Watch times Blood Moon across Australia on Tuesdays (all times pm)

ACT/NSW/VIC/TAS

Merry

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