The longest eclipse of the century!
Lunar Eclipses are not rare events but they are spectacular and who can resist the longest eclipse of the century occurring Saturday morning 28 July? An added bonus is that Mars is at opposition and will be located right near the Moon.
Set the alarm clock, find a good view to the western horizon and rug up! If you are observing from Sydney the Earth will cast its shadow on the Moon from 4:24am. Totality will begin at 5:30am and the Moon will set at 6:55am - still in partial eclipse*.
Will we see a 'Blood Moon' as the Earth casts a shadow due to the red light of the Sun's rays being scattered by our atmosphere? You will have to get up early and observe this yourself. The photograph of the eclipsed Moon above is by Geoff Wyatt, Education Manager Sydney Observatory (Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences) and clearly shows the redish colour whilst the Moon is in full eclipse.
For more information about this long lunar eclipse link to this detailed blog post by Sydney Observatory astronomer, Dr Andrew Jacob.
The weather forecast is not promising but we only need a few breaks in the clouds in the right places to see this event.
* Eclipse times are taken from the 2018 Australasian Skyguide by Dr. Nick Lomb, published by Sydney Observatory, Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences.