How to see May’s super blood moon
The super blood moon on 26 May is the celestial event of the year. Here’s how to see it.
On 26 May curious eyes from Melbourne to Manila will turn skyward to witness a remarkable phenomenon – a swollen full moon glowing an eerie shade of red in the night sky.
The so-called super blood moon, which will be visible from eastern Australia as well as the Pacific, eastern Asia and the west coast of the Americas, is caused by a total lunar eclipse. It occurs when the moon moves into the earth’s shadow, blocking direct light from the sun. A small amount of sunlight reaches the moon’s surface filtered through earth’s atmosphere, turning it a reddish hue, ranging from tobacco brown to copper or a spooky blood red, depending on the amount of dust in the atmosphere.
And because the moon will be a little closer to earth on its elliptical path in May, it will appear slightly bigger than normal – hence the “super” name.
It’s a phenomenon not to be missed and you don’t need a telescope to see it – binoculars help, but naked eye alone is enough.
Where and when to see the super blood moon
Find a location with a clear view to the eastern horizon. For Melburnians, the Williamstown foreshore is perfect, or any beach on the western side of Port Phillip Bay.
For the full experience, begin by watching the moonrise at about 5.03 pm – it should look majestic as it climbs. The partial eclipse phase begins at 7.44pm. Totality begins at 9.11pm and lasts for about 15 minutes. Be ready, as it will go quickly.
And if you want more...
If the remarkable sight of the full blood moon has you yearning to know more about our night skies, the good news is you don’t need expensive equipment to study the stars. All that’s required is a little bit of curiosity, a free sky chart downloaded from the internet and a dark spot in the backyard or local park.