It’s not every day that a giant, cosmic entity lights up the sky with a glowing red aura—completely kicking a regular full moon to the curb.
Actually, it’s been three whole years since the moon last packed this much heat at one time—so you'll want to pull out the telescope. The rare combination of a blood moon and a supermoon is set to appear in Australia's night sky this Wednesday 26 May, so to say we're amped is a little bit of an understatement.
So what makes this phenomenon so special? Blood moons—also known as total lunar eclipses—happen when Earth lines up between the Moon and the Sun, hiding the Moon from sunlight and blocking most of the blue light. The remaining light refracts onto the Moon’s surface causing a red glow. A supermoon is when the moon is closest to the Earth making it look a little larger than usual.
Though the lunar eclipse will be visible from about 6:47pm on Wednesday 26 May, you'll want to be in position for 9.11pm, which is when the moon will be completely hidden from the Sun by Earth and the reddish hue most noticeable, but it'll only last about 13 minutes.
Unlike solar eclipses, a total lunar eclipse is perfectly safe to look at with the naked eye, so as long as the sky is clear, all you need to do to see it is lookup. The moon will also be high in the sky towards the east, meaning it should be easy to spy from most places in Sydney.
If you want to get away from Sydney's city lights and light pollution, these are the best spots to stargaze in NSW.
Image credit: Stardome Observatory & Planetarium