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Eyes turn to sky ready for red lunar eclipse

SKY SHOW: Astronomer David Reneke says you can watch the eclipse with “your own two eyes, but get away from any bright lights”.
SKY SHOW: Astronomer David Reneke says you can watch the eclipse with “your own two eyes, but get away from any bright lights”. Noel Munford

THE latest sky show visible across the whole of Australia is due to happen on Saturday night.

Sky watchers will be treated to a total lunar eclipse, with the moon expected to take on an eerie pinkish glow.

Australian astronomer David Reneke said lunar eclipses were one of the most spectacular sights in astronomy and not to be missed.

"Maximum eclipse occurs at 11pm," Mr Reneke said.

"This is when you get the spectacular pink colour so put your camera on to a tripod and take a photo," he said.

Mr Reneke said the eerie part of the eclipse started when the moon's leading edge entered Earth's shadow.

"Astronauts on the moon would see an amazing sight," he said.

"They'd actually see the Earth eclipsing the Sun.

"They would see a bright red ring around the Earth as they watched all the sunrises and sunsets happening simultaneously around the world."

Mr Reneke said unlike solar eclipses, lunar eclipses were safe to watch.

"You don't need any kind of protective filters," he said.

"You can watch the lunar eclipse with nothing more than your own two eyes, but get away from any bright lights."

During a total lunar eclipse, the sun, Earth and moon form a straight line.

The Earth blocks any direct sunlight from reaching the moon.

The sun is behind the Earth, so the sun's light casts the Earth's shadow on the moon.

This shadow covers the entire moon.

Topics:  editors picks moon space



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