The best times to see rare 'super' blood moon in Australia

·2-min read

Moon gazers are in for a treat when a rare super blood moon appears in the sky on Wednesday evening.

A super blood moon is when a total lunar eclipse (or blood moon) happens at the same time as the 'super' moon – which appears brighter and bigger.

Australian National University astrophysicist Brad Tucker says the shadow creates an amazing orange-red glow that looks a bit like sunrise or sunset with the phenomenon happening every five years or so.

"We're getting two different cool things happening with the same full moon," he told AAP.

A 'super blood moon' is seen during an eclipse behind an office building in Hong Kong, China January 31, 2018.
A 'super blood moon' is pictured in 2018 in Hong Kong. Source: AAP, file

"It doesn't happen that often to get this combination... so it's definitely a special sight and one that you don't want to miss," Dr Tucker said.

"As the moon perfectly centres in the earth's shadow, it hits this orange-red light. So during the peak of the total lunar eclipse, you are seeing earth's sunrise and sunset lighting up the moon."

While it will be visible from parts of America, Dr Tucker said Australians would have one of the best and most convenient viewing times.

"This is probably the rarest bit of this moon, that it happens in the early evening and not some absurd normal astronomy time in the middle of the night," he said.

"You don't need special equipment ... you just need your eyes, because you can see the beautiful colours and details of the moon."

The weather forecast is looking good for most of Australia, with some early cloud expected to clear on the east coast in time during a three-hour window of opportunity.

The eclipse can be seen on the east coast from 7.44pm with the total eclipse – when it's fully red – expected to happen between 9.11 and 9.25pm.

In Australia's centre, the total eclipse will happen between 8.41 and 8.55pm, while in Western Australia the moon will appear fully red from 7.11 to 7.25pm.

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