News

Fire in the sky as Moon and Mars put on show tonight

Don’t fear tonight's blood red moon, it’s all part of a grand cosmic design.
Don’t fear tonight's blood red moon, it’s all part of a grand cosmic design. Contributed

SKYWATCHERS are getting ready for a colourful astronomical event, with a lunar eclipse due this evening.

The moon will appear to turn cherry red as it enters the lunar eclipse. The event, which will last up to 20 minutes, occurs every two-and-a-half years.

Australian astronomer Dave Reneke said for eastern Australia the eclipse would begin at moonrise, about 5.28pm, when the totality phase would have just started.

At the end of this phase, about 6.25pm, the moon will only be 10 degrees above the horizon, so a higher or ocean vantage point is recommended.

April putting on a lunar feast for red moon stargazers

"The further east you are the more of the eclipse you'll see," he said.

A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes directly behind the Earth into its shadow.

This can occur only when the sun, Earth and moon are aligned exactly, or very closely so, with the Earth in the middle.

Unlike a solar eclipse, which should never be looked at directly, it is quite safe to look at a lunar eclipse.

In fact, the light of the moon will actually be dimmer than normal.

Those watching will see light slowly disappear from the moon as the earth moves in front of the sun.

Then, at the peak, they'll see a vague, ghostly disc rather than the bright shining one usually seen.

The same night of the lunar eclipse will be one of the nights when the planet Mars is closest to the Earth.

"The Red Planet is getting closer to Earth in its journey around the Sun," Mr Reneke said.

"Look for a brilliant reddish 'star' in the south-eastern sky. That's Mars, and it even outshines Sirius.

"By the time you finish reading this story, you'll be about 1000km closer to Mars."

Mr Reneke said the distance between the two planets was shrinking by about 300km every minute.

"On April 14, the distance between Earth and Mars narrows to only 92 million kilometres, a small number on the vast scale of the solar system, but a seven month flight for NASA's speediest rockets," he said.

"Mars will be easy to see with the unaided eye, even from brightly lit cities.

"With a modest backyard telescope, you can view the rusty disc of Mars as well as the planet's whitish north polar cap.

"From Mars, the sun appears only 44% as bright as it does from Earth."

LOOKING UP

  • A lunar eclipse can only occur the night of a full moon
  • A lunar eclipse may be viewed from anywhere on the night side of the Earth
  • More details at the Sydney Observatory website

Topics:  astronomy lunar eclipse mars moon



How to survive a bushfire in your car

IT SOUNDS like a nightmare, but it can happen.

Eight reasons to join the RFS

SPREAD across 93% of Queensland, the Rural Fire Service has about 36,000 volunteers. And you could be one of them.

What if my insurer gives me grief?

CLAIMING your insurance cover after a natural disaster can go one of two ways. It can be a breeze, or like pulling teeth.

Adani job checklist for Gladstone tradies

JOBS: Recruiters set sights on skilled Gladstone workers for $26 billion Adani project. Photo Contributed

THESE are the skills you need to score a job on the Adani project.

CCTV footage busts Gladstone McDonald's drive-thru prankster

Sam Gardner

AN early morning Macca's trip ended badly for this Gladstone teen

Bechtel workers await fate in ATO challenge

GLNG site tour on Curtis Island.

COLD-WATER poured on wide-travelling rumors Bechtel case is dead.

Local Partners

Pop star Liam Payne's Facebook hacked with porn

"Things that can happen to you when you don't have sex."

Tim Roth was abused by his grandfather

Tim Roth was abused by his grandfather during his childhood.

Leo designs shocker tattoo for Tom Hardy after lost bet

Leonardo DiCaprio has designed a new tattoo for Tom Hardy

Hollywood star at home on the Coffs Coast

FEELING LUCKY, SON?: Scott Eastwood visited the Coffs Coast

Guess which Hollywood star has been seen around the Coffs Coast?

Ricky Gervais: There's 'no point' marrying Jane Fallon

RICKY Gervais "doesn't see the point" in marrying Jane Fallon.

Hacksaw Ridge wins big in first round of AACTA Awards

Luke Bracey and Andrew Garfield in a scene from the movie Hacksaw Ridge.

THE major awards will be handed out on Wednesday night.

Developer's grand new multi-million dollar estate

NEW ESTATE: This is the only plan revealed by the property developer's new Billabongs Estate in Agnes Water.

DEVELOPER given the go ahead for a massive estate with 149 homes.

Couple's desperate $550K price drop to sell Gladstone home

Brian Headley and Kirstene Staib are selling their Kin Kora mansion for $750,000.

TELL tale sign of Gladstone's property market.

Seven Gladstone homes selling right now leave experts shocked

PROPERTY GURUS pick seven properties that show market has hit bottom

Banks reclaim Gladstone homes as job losses bite

LONG FALL: Property experts Heron Todd say, based on key market indicators, Gladstone is still travelling to the bottom of the market, with property prices set to get cheaper.

Property valuers say Gladstone housing market hasn't hit the bottom

The million dollar property to test Mackay's market

This Victoria St building will go to auction Tuesday and investors will be watching closely to see how much it sells for.

'High profile architect designed CBD asset' goes to auction

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!