“The total lunar eclipse on 15 April is one of two for this year, and will begin before the Moon rises, says Dr Nick Lomb, consultant astronomer and curator, Powerhouse Museum and Sydney Observatory…
Lomb says a twilight total lunar eclipse is quite rare.
“Just as the Sun is setting, the Moon will be rising, and it will be totally eclipsed, which should be fairly spectacular,” he says.
But because the eclipse will happen so low in the sky, to see it you will need to make sure there are no trees, hills or buildings in the way.
“The essential thing is to have a really clear view towards the eastern horizon.”
The Moon will already be eclipsed when it rises at 5:28 pm AEST, but at that stage the sky will still be quite bright, warns Lomb
“So it might be hard to see a slight reddish fudge on the horizon,” he says.
But wait five minutes for the Sun to set and you could be in for a treat.
“It’s a fair chance it will become a reasonably bright reddish Moon,”
He says while the Moon is usually blood red, because the Earth’s atmosphere refracts light from the Sun, this colour is not guaranteed.
This is because the atmosphere could make the Moon too dark to see. But, says Lomb, since there is no volcanic activity around, this is unlikely to be a problem.
By 5:46 pm AEST, the Moon will be in the middle of Earth’s dark shadow and from 6:25 pm AEST it will start leaving the shadow.
Even if there are clouds, Lomb says people should still be able to see this partial eclipse, lasting until 7:33 pm AEST.
“Even if people can’t see the Moon when it’s red they should still be able to see the Moon creep out of the Earth’s shadow and that’s still interesting.”
Read more about the significance of the Blood Moons here