How do I see the Super Blue Blood Moon?
Wednesday, 31 January 2018
7.10pm – Moon rises in the east.
Time to unpack the picnic!
7.48pm – Partial eclipse begins.
Watch as Earth’s shadow starts to move across the lunar surface.
8.51pm – Total eclipse begins.
See how reddish coloured the Moon becomes.
9.30pm – Greatest eclipse (mid eclipse).
Time for desert!
10.08pm – Total eclipses ends.
Break out the hot chocolate!
11.12pm – Partial eclipse ends.
High fives all round. What a wonderful astronomical event to see!
In WA, the Moon rises in the east at 7.10pm on Wednesday, 31 January 2018. When it rises, the eclipse will have already started, however you won’t notice anything immediately. It starts to get exciting when the partial eclipse begins at 7.48pm. The total eclipse then begins at 8.51pm and the halfway point (mid eclipse) is 9.30pm with the total eclipse ending at 10.08pm. Keep watching and you’ll see the partial eclipse finish at 11.12pm.
Special Event in Dandaragan
“Galaxy Girl” (that’s me!) will be at the Tronox Super Blue Blood Moon Eclipse event near Dandaragan. It’s only a short 2 hour drive north of Perth. So if you feel like heading out to a quiet countryside location, come and see me at Aggie’s Cottage just west of the town of Dandaragan. Gold coin donation entry. Delicious local BBQ packs can be pre-ordered by calling the Dandaragan Community Resource Centre on 08 9651 4071. For more details:
And you may like to stay overnight at the Red Gum Village or book in to camp at the Dandaragan Caravan Park (08 9651 4071).
Lunar Eclipse Information
Unlike solar eclipses, lunar eclipses are perfectly safe to watch with the naked eye and you don’t need a telescope. The Moon will look darkened and eerie brown or reddish in colour. This is due to indirect sunlight passing through the Earth’s atmosphere with most blue light filtered out.
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Fingers crossed for clear skies. The Moon will look pretty spectacular. It’s a great chance to enjoy a picnic with family and friends and marvel at the wonder of nature. And even though you don’t need them, if you do happen to have a telescope or a pair of binoculars, it’s a great chance to get them out to have a closer look.
Remember, what you’re seeing is Earth’s shadow cast upon the surface of our nearest neighbour in space, the Moon. Happy stargazing!
The Moon that rises on the 31st is not only a full Moon (we’re all pretty familiar with what that is), it’s also a Supermoon, a Blue Moon and a Blood Moon! These are all popular names used to describe our Moon during special occasions. What do they each mean?
What is a Supermoon?
The Moon’s orbit around Earth is slightly oval shaped or elliptical. So every month there’s a time when the Moon is at its closest distance to Earth (at perigee) and another time when it is at its furthest distance from Earth (at apogee). A Supermoon is the popular term used when a full Moon coincides with perigee, the Moon’s closest distance to Earth during the month.
You might think that a Supermoon is going to appear much larger in size as compared with a usual full Moon. However, the difference in the apparent size between a usual full Moon and a Supermoon is barely noticeable to the naked eye.
What is a Blue Moon?
In recent times, a Blue Moon refers to the second full Moon that occurs in a calendar month. The chance for an extra full Moon in a month happens because the Moon takes 29.53 days to orbit Earth. 29.53 days is shorter than all calendar months (except February) and gives the opportunity for us to have the extra full Moon.
What is a Blood Moon?
This is a popular term used for a total lunar eclipse and it’s because the Moon turns a dull reddish brown colour during this type of astronomical event.
A total lunar eclipse occurs when the Sun, Earth and Moon are all in a straight line in space with Earth in the middle. Earth blocks out the light coming from the Sun and what we see is Earth’s shadow moving across the face of the Moon.
You might ask why don’t we have an eclipse every time the Moon is on the opposite side of Earth to the Sun (the time of the full Moon)? That’s because the Moon’s orbit around Earth is not on the same angle as the Earth’s orbit around the Sun. It only happens once or twice a year that the orbits are at the same angle which means the three objects line up in space perfectly.
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