STARGAZERS Club of WA are pleased to announce there will be a total lunar eclipse on Saturday 28 July.
It’s a great opportunity to see Mars with the naked eye or with a telescope for those who have access to one.
At the same time as the total lunar eclipse, Mars will be in opposition which means that it will be as close to Earth as it gets this year. This happens every 26 months because the earth orbits the sun faster than Mars and every 26 months the earth catches up to its orbit.
This year is rather special because at opposition, Mars will be 57.6 million km away and it won’t be this close to earth again until September 2035.
Galaxy girl (aka Carol Redford), from the club says that Mars will be very bright and will appear just above and to the left of the blood red moon with the Milky Way galaxy stretching across the western horizon.
The eclipse happens very early in the morning with the partial eclipse beginning at 2.24am when people can see the earth’s shadow move across the lunar surface.
At 3.30am the total eclipse begins with the moon completely in the shadow of the earth. Mid eclipse is at 4.22am where you can see how reddish coloured the moon becomes and Mars will look bright and red to match.
The eclipse will finish about 5.14am and the sun will rise at 7.09am with the moon setting in the west at 7.17am.
This is a great opportunity to share a cold winter’s night with family and friends and discover much about our stars.
For more information about stargazing contact Carol at the Star Gazers Club on 0427 554 035 or email firstname.lastname@example.org