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Thursday, September 25, 2014

 

Total Lunar Eclipse, October 8, 2014

Eastern horizon as seen from Sydney on 8 October at 7:57 pm AEDST. The eclipse is just about to begin. Click to embiggenEastern horizon as seen from Adelaide on 8 October at 8:09 pm ACDST . The eclipse is just starting. Click to embiggenEastern horizon as seen from Perth on 8 October at 6:48 pm AWST. The eclipse is about halfway to totality. Click to embiggen
Above the North-Eastern horizon as seen from Sydney on 8 October at 9:55 pm AEDST. The eclipse is at its maximum extent . Click to embiggenNorth-Eastern horizon as seen from Adelaide on 8 October at 8:55 pm ACDST. The total eclipse has just begun . Click to embiggenEastern horizon as seen from Perth on 8 October at 7:20 pm AWST. The total eclipse is just about to end. Click to embiggen

On the early evening of 8 October there there be a total eclipse of the Moon, the second of two visible from Australia this year (you can see pictures from the April eclipse here). The 8 October eclipse starts at twilight in the eastern and central states and finishes in dark skies. Western Australia sees the Moon rise partly eclipsed, maximum eclipse occurs shortly after civil twilight, and totality finishes after nautical twilight. See timings table below.

You don't need special filters or fancy equipment to watch the lunar eclipse, you just need your eyes and somewhere comfortable to sit and watch. Binoculars or a telescope are a plus, but not necessary.
A guide to taking photos of the eclipse is here.

On the East coast, the eclipse starts after nautical twilight (an hour after sunset), when the sky is quite dark at 7:15 pm AEST (8:15 pm AEDST) and Totality begins after astronomical twilight has finished at 8:25 pm AEST (9:25 pm AEDST), so the Moon will appear to be a burnished copper disk in a dark sky full of stars. As totality fades you will see the stars extinguish.

In the central states the eclipse stars before nautical twilight 6:45 pm ACST (7:45 pm ACDST) and Totality begins after just after astronomical twilight has finished at 7:55 pm ACST (8:55 pm ACDST). They will also see the eclipsed Moon in all its coppery glory and the stars fade as the Moon returns.

In WA, although most of the eclipse occurs in the twilight, it will still be interesting to watch. Moon rises partly eclipsed, and Totality starts just after the sun sets (6:25 pm AWST), and maximum totality is during civil twilight and lasts until just after nautical twilight. The eclipsed Moon at twilight has an entirely different look to a normal rising Moon with the pearly light replaced with a coppery-red glow.

You will need a flat, clear horizon to see the early parts of the eclipse from WA. Otherwise for the rest of the states the eclipse occurs reasonably high in the sky as is good viewing from almost anywhere.

New Zealand sees a lot more of the eclipse.

See here for a map and contact timings in UT for sites outside Australia. A printable PDF file with timings and activities is here.


City Moonrise Eclipse Start Totality Start Maximum Eclipse Totality End Eclipse End
Adelaide (ACDST) 7:15 pm 7:45 pm 8:55 pm 9:25 pm 9:55 pm 10:05 pm
Alice Springs (ACST) 6:29  pm 6:45 pm 7:55 pm 8:25 pm 8:55 pm 9:05 pm
Auckland (NZT) 6:15 pm 9:14 pm 10:24 pm 10:54 pm 11:24 pm 00:34 am
Brisbane (AEST) 5:41 pm 7:15 pm 8:25 pm 8:55 pm 9:25 pm 10:35 pm
Cairns (AEST) 6:06 pm 7:15 pm 8:25 pm 8:55 pm 9:25 pm 10:35 pm
Canberra (AEDST) 7:02 pm 8:15 pm 9:25 pm 9:55 pm 10:25 pm 11:35 pm
Christchurch (NZT) 6:29 pm 9:14 pm 10:24 pm 10:54 pm 11:24  pm 00:34 am
Darwin (ACST) 6:36 pm 6:45 pm 7:55 pm 8:25 pm 8:55 pm 9:05 pm
Hobart (AEDST) 7:15 pm 8:15 pm 9:25 pm 9:55 pm 10:25 pm 11:35 pm
Melbourne (AEDST) 7:21 pm 8:15 pm 9:25 pm 9:55 pm 10:25 pm 11:35 pm
Perth (AWST) 6:19 pm 5:15 pm 6:25 pm 6:55 pm 7:25 pm 8:35 pm
Rockhampton (AEST) 5:49 pm 7:15 pm 8:25 pm 8:55 pm 9:25 pm 10:35 pm
Sydney (AEDST) 6:52 pm 8:15 pm 9:25 pm 9:55 pm 10:25 pm 11:35 pm
Townsville (AEST) 5:16 pm 7:15 pm 8:25 pm 8:55 pm 9:25 pm 10:35 pm

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Comments:
I managed to capture the blood moon from Pt Parham South Australia, https://www.flickr.com/photos/mickyj_photos/15317214839/in/album-72157621510106713/
 
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