The total lunar eclipse, or ‘blood moon’ began at 5.32am AEST on Saturday, lasting for one hour and 43 minutes, as the sun, Earth and moon aligned.
“It was really nice, a very clear eclipse,” Sydney Observatory curator Dr Andrew Jacob told AAP.
“The moon was a lot paler pink than I expected – a beautiful sight in the western sky.
“It was a nice long one, and as twilight came and the sky brightened up, the moon dropped into the clouds.”
At least 200 people flocked to Observatory Hill in Sydney’s CBD, and also to Dover Heights in the east, as the moon moved into the Earth’s shadow, becoming darker and turning redder as sunlight passed through Earth’s atmosphere.
“What we’re seeing is essentially all the sunrises and sunsets on the Earth, dramatically projected onto the surface of the moon,” Australian National University astronomer Brad Tucker told AAP on Friday.
Dr Jacob said: “Anyone on that night-side of the Earth would be able to see the moon go into the eclipse.”
“They’ll see it at the same time, beginning at the same moment.”
Those in Australia’s west, where alarms were set from 2am, got to see the end of the eclipse’s totality, he said.
“The Earth doesn’t rotate far enough this time around for anyone in North America – the US and Alaska – to see the eclipse but there are other eclipses that we don’t see, there’s always a little bit of the Earth that misses out.”
This marks the second total lunar eclipse this year visible from Australia, with the next one predicted for 2021.
“(But) the really spectacular eclipses are the total solar eclipses, you have to travel to see those, they’re really localised,” Dr Jacob said.
“In ten years, in 2028, there will be a total solar eclipse which will pass over Sydney.”
Technically speaking, the blood moon is an incredible phenomenon, but a picture tells a thousand words.
— Maik Kleinert (@MaikKleinert) July 27, 2018