THE Moon will give Melbournians a rare triple treat tonight, 26 May. And don’t fret, even if it’s cloudy, you will still get to see the stunning celestial ballet.
Our only natural satellite, will become 7 per cent bigger than an average full Moon – a Super Moon – and it will also be 15 per cent brighter.
The Moon will also enter the Earth’s shadow in space causing the year’s only full lunar eclipse, which will turn an eerie red colour, which is also known as a Blood Moon.
In 2014, two Christian pastors from the United States legitimately believed that the four lunar eclipses of that year, which to them represented the “four horsemen”, would be the start of the apocalypse.
“A Super Blood Moon is not the apocalypse. It’s a rare celestial event, which means it’s a full Moon, a Super Moon, and it will also be a full lunar eclipse,” Chris Rudge, President of The Astronomical Society of Victoria, said.
The Astronomical Society of Victoria will on Wednesday night livestream the lunar eclipse for free on their Facebook Page and YouTube.
“Clouds are astronomers worst enemy, but we’ve managed to overcome that by adding different locations across the country with livestreaming telescopes so even if it’s cloudy over Melbourne, stargazers will still get the opportunity to view it online from a non-cloudy location,” Chris added.
The ASV first started to use livestreaming events via Facebook during last year’s COVID-19 lockdowns, and will this week broadcast the eclipse after free tickets sold out for the free viewing event at Caulfield Racecourse.
The event, which will be led by an expert amateur astronomer, Stefan Nebl, will zero in on the moon’s stunning features, such as large impact craters, extinct volcanoes, high mountain ranges and seas, and old Apollo landing sites.
He will also talk about the moon’s phases and the body’s effect on the Earth’s oceans.
“Everyone has an affinity with the moon. You can see many of the features of it with the naked eye. It’s the only other celestial body that humans have visited, and NASA’s upcoming Artemis Program, gives us hope that, one day, in the not-too-distant future, that we will return,” Chris added.
The ASV is encouraging viewers of the livestream event to donate or to even become a member, of the not-for-profit organisation so they can fund their Pathways to the Planets Program so that people living with a disability can access their dark sky viewing site in the country.
To view the Super Blood Moon Eclipse, please tune in to the ASV’s Facebook Page from 9pm here: https://www.facebook.com/theasv, and ASV’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/AstroSocietyVic.
The Super Blood Moon Eclipse will commence at 6.47pm (total lunar eclipse at 9.11pm) and will finish at 9.25pm on Wednesday, 26 May.
The Moon is the fifth largest satellite in the Solar System
The Moon formed 4.5 billion years ago
The Moon’s surface gravity is one-sixth of the Earth’s
The Moon always shows Earth the same face (synchronous orbit)
The Moon is moving approximately 3.8cm away from Earth each year