Weather permitting, a total lunar eclipse will be visible across Australia and New Zealand on tomorrow evening. As the next one won't be visible from the region until 2025, this is an opportunity not to be missed.
An eclipse of the moon occurs when the moon passes through the shadow cast by the Earth. Partial eclipses occur when the moon only partially enters the shadow. Total eclipses cause the moon to glow reddish/orange as it becomes fully immersed in the shadows.
It will take 85 minutes for the moon to be completely engulfed in shadow during Tuesday's eclipse.
Across Australia, the eclipse will happen around moonrise. So the moon will be much lower in the sky and battling against the twilight glow during the eclipse’s early stages.
The eclipse will occur shortly after the full moon rises in eastern Australia. You will need to wait longer for the eclipse to begin the further north you are. In Brisbane, it will start more than an hour after moonrise, so the moon will be higher in the sky. It takes only 15 minutes after moonrise for the eclipse to begin in Hobart.
You can expect to see an amazing eclipse shortly after moonrise if you see it soon after moonrise. It's because of something called the "moon illusion." Your brain is tricked into thinking the moon looks bigger when it's low on the horizon than when it's high up.
A high location or a clear view of the horizon will help you see the early parts of the eclipse since the moon rises in the east-northeast for all of Australia. As the moon gets higher, and the sky darker, the later part of the eclipse should be easy to see for everyone.
For the rest of Australia, the eclipse will begin before the moon rises. Throughout central Australia it will start only a few minutes before moonrise, while in Western Australia it will be well and truly under way by moonrise.
Those up north will see some of the partial eclipse before totality sets in but Perth can expect to see a fully eclipsed moon deep in shadow at moonrise.
In New Zealand, the eclipse will occur late in the evening and reach its maximum just before midnight. Northern skies will have a full moon.
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