Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Total Eclipse of the Moon

A total lunar eclipse was observed across Australia tonight. A total lunar eclipse occurs when the earth sits perfectly between the sun and the moon, with its shadow blocking the majority of the light from reaching the moon. 

This creates a "blood moon", with the moon appearing in a dark red colour, and is caused by the scattering of light around earth's atmosphere and reflecting off the moon. This red colour is significantly dimmer than the usual white moon.

A total lunar eclipse was last observed in December 2011, and the event of 15th April 2014 is actually the first of a series of four, known as a tetrad. The remaining lunar eclipses will occur in October 2014, April 2015, and September 2015.

The earlier photos show when the sky hasn't completely darkened yet, but that is when the total eclipse occurred and the moon is fully red. The later photos show a partial eclipse, where part of the moon is fully illuminated by the sun, but a shadowy red part remains.

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