On Tuesday 8 November, a total lunar eclipse will be visible in Australia for the very first time this year. It’ll also be the last lunar eclipse over Australia until 2025 so if you’re a sky-gazing enthusiast, put your plans on hold so you don’t miss this opportunity.
A lunar eclipse occurs when the sun, earth and moon align in a manner that the moon passes into the earth’s shadow. According to Space, “Lunar eclipses happen when Earth positions itself between the sun and the moon, casting a shadow across the lunar surface.”
Lunar eclipses only occur during a full moon and don’t need any additional equipment to be enjoyed.
When can you see the lunar eclipse in Australia
Luckily for us, the total eclipse is set to occur at a reasonable time across the country. If you’re in South Australia, you’ll want to keep your eyes on the skies around 8.46pm – 10.11pm. If you’re in Sydney or Melbourne, look up around 9.16pm – 10.41pm. If you’re in Brisbane, the eclipse will last from 8.16pm – 9.41pm. In Western Australia, the lunar eclipse will be visible from 6.43pm – 7.41pm.
If you witness the eclipse after the moon rises, it’ll be a sight for sore eyes. This is because of a phenomenon called the “moon illusion” when the moon looks much bigger when it’s low on the horizon as opposed to when it’s high up in the sky.
The blood moon will last for nearly three hours and will be visible across Australia, New Zealand, the Americas and parts of Asia. It is safe to look directly at a lunar eclipse and can be enjoyed by the naked eye although binoculars will enhance the overall experience.