Rare 'blood moon' to excite skygazers

Aussie skygazers will have the rare treat of seeing a total lunar eclipse where the moon turns into a blood-red astronomical body.

Avid watchers armed with binoculars or a telescope for a better viewing experience should circle on Tuesday as the night for a phenomenon that will not seen for another three years.

A blood moon occurs when the sun, earth and the moon align in such a way the moon passes into earth's shadow.

Australian National University (ANU) astrophysicist Brad Tucker explained that when looking at the moon during the total lunar eclipse, "You are seeing the sunrise and sunset of the earth lighting up the moon".

"Just as sunrise and sunset are an orange or reddish colour, so is this light that skims through the earth's atmosphere and out into space," he said.

According to NASA, the more dust or clouds in earth's atmosphere during the total lunar eclipse, the redder the moon will appear.

The blood moon will last for almost three hours and be visible in New Zealand, the Americas and parts of Asia.

BLOOD MOON VIEWING TIMES ACROSS AUSTRALIA ON TUESDAY (all times PM)

ACT/NSW/VIC/TAS

Starts at 8:09, ends at 11:49. Total eclipse (when fully red) will last from 9:16 - 10:41.

QLD

Starts at 7:09, ends at 10:49. Total eclipse (when fully red) will last from 8:16 - 9:41.

SA

Starts at 7:43, ends at 11:19. Total eclipse (when fully red) will last from 8:46 - 10:11.

NT

Starts at 6:42, ends at 10:19. Total eclipse (when fully red) will last from 7:46 - 9:11.

WA

Starts at 6:43, ends at 8:49. Total eclipse (when fully red) will last from 6:43 - 7:41.