Don’t forget to go outside tonight November 8 and check out the ‘blood’ Moon – you may even be able to see it on and off between clouds! No special equipment needed!

Tomorrow night offers a treat for even the most casual of stargazers: a total lunar eclipse, visible from start to end across Australia, the Americas, Asia and New Zealand! This is a potentially great eclipse for outreach enthusiasts since the entire eclipse will run its course by just before 1am AEDT. With the best parts being between 9:16pm and 10:39

There are two types of lunar eclipses: partial and total. I am happy to say that the event tomorrow night is the best type of one. Total lunar eclipses only occur at Full Moon.

Total lunar eclipses last for hours, and totality, the most impressive segment, will last for 1 hour and 25 minutes so if you want only to see the coolest bit you need only pop outside for about 30 minutes from around 9:45pm.

Unlike solar eclipses, you can safely view lunar eclipses without any special protectionsince a lunar eclipse is totally safe to look at. You can view the bright full Moon safely with your naked eye and have probably done so many times in the past. A lunar eclipse only makes the Moon slightly darker, since it’s caused by Earth’s shadow covering on the Moon and blocking the Sun’s light.

Totality in a lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon is completely enveloped by the darkest part of Earth’s shadow, known as the umbra. This is also when the Moon’s colour dramatically changes to a bright orange or red (commonly, and unofficially, called a “Blood Moon”), thanks to the effectof the sunlight refracting through our Earth’s atmosphere, comparable to why we have colourful sunrises and sunsets.

The event begins when the Moon enters Earth’s outer shadow-penumbra and slowly moves into Earth’s Umbra (inner shadow) and begins to turn red, a state of the partial lunar eclipse. As the moon goes inside the umbra, a total lunar eclipse occurs. The Total Lunar Eclipse (blood moon phenomena) will last for an incredible for 1 hour 25 minutes.

Following the eclipse, the entire event repeats in reverse as the moon moves out of Earth’s shadow.

Eclipse times in AEST (Nov8/9, 2022)

Eclipse begins at 19:02 AEST – 08:02 UTC ** this is before Moon rise for us.

Partial umbral eclipse begins: 20:09 AEST or 08:09 UTC

Total eclipse begins: 21:16 AEST – 10:16 UTC

Greatest eclipse: 21:59 AEST – 10:59 UTC

Total eclipse ends: 22:41 AEST – 11:41 UTC

Partial umbral eclipse ends: 23:49 AEST – 12:49 UTC

And the Moon will be back to its normal brightness at 00:56 Wed 9 Nov or 13:56 Tuesday UTC