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Saturday, November 05, 2022


Twilight Total Lunar Eclipse Tuesday, November 8, 2022


Evening sky on Tuesday November 8 looking north-east as seen from Sydney at 21:15 AEDST as totality of the eclipse starts.  The inset shows the telescopic/binocular view at this time with Uranus. Click to embiggenEvening sky on Tuesday November 8 looking north-east as seen from Adelaide at 20:45 ACDST as totality of the eclipse starts.  The inset shows the telescopic/binocular view at this time with Uranus.  Click to embiggenEvening sky on Tuesday November 8 looking north-east as seen from Perth at 18:59 AWST at mid-totality.  The inset shows the telescopic/binocular view at this time with Uranus.  Click to embiggen

On the evening of Tuesday, November 8, there will be an excellent total eclipse of the Moon at twilight, the last Total Lunar in Australia until 2025. As a bonus, Uranus is visible 1 degree south of the eclipsed Moon (see insets above). Uranus is at opposition the next day and is easily visible in binoculars.
It's also a good way to demonstrate the earth is round.

You will see some sites calling this a "blood Moon", The Moon does not turn the colour of blood but will go a deep copper colour due to the refraction of red light through our atmosphere. This year in Australia, as the eclipse is during twilight the colours of the moon will be somewhat different early in the eclipse. In  the central states the moon will be yellowish where not eclipsed and ashen in the eclipsed section until the sky goes fully dark. In Western Australia the colour will likely be more ashen for most of the eclipse.

Unfortunately, the Tuesday, November 8 eclipse occurs the working week. Fortunately, it occurs in the early evening, so you don't have to stay up late and the kids can watch. Of course, for most places the eclipse is in the twilight, making for a unique experience. The further south you are the more twilight will occur during the eclipse.
The East coast will have the best view with the umbral part of the eclipse (when the Moon enters the deepest part of Earth's shadow) happening after moon rise but still in the twilight. The darkening will still be readily visible, totality and eclipse end occurs when the sky is fully dark. 
In the central states, the moon rises after the eclipse has started, but the sight of the Moon rising with a chip out of it should be spectacular (if you have a low, unobstructed horizon of course). Totality starts during late twilight but ends when the sky is fully dark. The Pleiades and Hyades below the Moon should be nicely visible. 
Western Australia sees the Moon rise eclipsed (the reddish/ashen  “ghost moon rising may be quite spectacular too) and the shadow slips off the Moon during twilight. 

A guide I wrote for the October 2014 lunar eclipse to taking photos of the eclipse is here. And here is a more general (and more recent) link to lunar photography with mobile phones and adapters that is useful for mobile phone imaging of the eclipse.
The eclipse starts low in the sky on the east coast, starts before Moon rise in the central states and the Moon rises eclipsed in WA. Despite it being low is is good viewing from almost anywhere, urban, suburban, or country. You don't need to move from your backyard unless there is a high-rise blocking your view to the east. Even if it is cloudy it is still worth watching for the changing light and the occasional glimpses of the darkening Moon.

Here I am calling “eclipse start” as when the umbra, the darkest part of the earth’s shadow touches the Moon. Technically the eclipse starts then the penumbra, the dimmer outer part of earth’s shadow, touches the moon. But the penumbral part of the eclipse will be almost impossible to see in the twilight.

New Zealand sees the whole of the eclipse,  starting late evening and ending on the morning on the 9th.

See here for a map and contact timings in Universal Time for sites outside Australia.

City Moon-rise Civil Twilight Nautical Twilight Astronomical twilight Eclipse Start Totality Start Maximum Eclipse Totality End Eclipse End
19:44 20:19 20:52 21:27 19:38 20:45 21:29 22:11 23:19
Alice Springs (ACST) 18:45 
19:16 19:45 20:14 18:38 19:45 20:29 21:11 22:19
Auckland (NZDST) 19:47 20:29 21:03 21:40 22:08 23:15 23:58 00:41 01:49
Brisbane (AEST) 18:01 18:36 19:06 19:37 19:08 20:15 20:58 21:41 22:49
Cairns (AEST) 18:15 18:47 19:14 19:41 19:08 20:15 20:58 21:41 22:49
Canberra (AEDST) 19:31 20:08 20:41 21:17 20:08 21:15 21:58 22:41 23:49
Christchurch (NZDST) 20:10 20:56 21:36 22:20 22:08 23:15 23:58  00:41 01:49
Darwin (ACST) 18:42 19:11 19:37 20:03 18:38 19:45 20:29 21:11 22:19
Hobart (AEDST) 19:55 21:15 21:36 21:58 20:08  21:15 21:58 
22:41 23:49
Melbourne (AEDST) 19:52 20:30 21:04 21:42 20:08 21:15 21:58 22:41 23:49
Perth (AWST) 18:44 19:14 19:45 20:19 17:45 19:10 19:19 19:28 20:53
Rockhampton (AEST) 18:05 18:39 19:07 19:36 19:08 
21:41    22:49
Sydney (AEDST) 19:19 19:56 20:28 21:02 20:08 21:15 21:58 22:41 23:49
Townsville (AEST) 18:14 18:47 19:14 19:42 19:08
20:15 20:58 21:41  

Weather: Cloud cover predictions can be found at SkippySky.

Here is the near-real time satellite view of the clouds (day and night) http://satview.bom.gov.au/

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It was good viewing in Nambour, Qld. Started off overcast at sunset but cleared away nicely. After seeing totality I went to bed. I'm not that dedicated :)
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