Wednesday, August 22, 2007
And the Moon Turns to Blood
This coming Tuesday, August 28, there will be a total eclipse of the Moon. This will be the best total Lunar eclipse visible from Australia since 1999. A lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon enters the Earth's Shadow. While not as dramatic as a solar eclipse, a Lunar eclipse has a calm and serene beauty of its won. At the height of the eclipse, the Moon should be a deep copper colour.
The majority of the eclipse occurs in the early evening so the whole family can watch it. You don't need any special equipment to see it, just your eyes (although binoculars will be helpful).
Why not have a lunar eclipse viewing party in your street? For the eastern states and central states, the Moon enters the darkest part of Earth's shadow (the Umbra) during the late twilight. For people in WA, the Moon rises with the eclipse underway.
A table with contact times for all Australian States, and New Zealand (and links for other countries) is here at Southern Skywatch. I have made a printable PDF file with the Australian eclipse contact times and diagrams for handy reference on the night. It also has Kids eclipse activities on the back. You can download the PDF file here.
Hopefully, the weather will be alright on the night. You can check the weather here.