‘Blood Moon’ on display tonight

Sunday April 13, 2014 Written by Published in Weather
A total lunar eclipse seen on June 15, 2011 from Tanzania. 14041416 A total lunar eclipse seen on June 15, 2011 from Tanzania. 14041416 PHOTO WIKI COMMONS

Moon gazers will no doubt be hoping for clear skies tonight so they can catch a glimpse of the full lunar eclipse. 

A lunar eclipse - often known as a 'blood moon' - occurs when the moon moves directly into the shadow of the Earth cast by the sun.

As the light bounces off the moon and is refracted through the Earth’s atmosphere, it is given a reddish-tint, in a similar manner to sunsets and sunrises.

Today’s eclipse is due to begin in the Cook Islands when the moon rises at 5:37pm.

The full eclipse will kick off at 9.06pm and last for 78 minutes; for the best effect, viewers should be looking into the night sky at 9:46pm. 

A lunar eclipse occurs three times a year maximum, but not all of those are total eclipses.

Arona Ngari, Director of the Cook Islands Met Service, is predicting good conditions for moon-watching tonight.

“I reckon we should be in for a cracker with this blood moon.”

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