Lunar Trifecta – Possibly a once in a lifetime opportunity…

Submitted: Tuesday, Jan 23, 2018 at 15:04
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I’m sure many are aware of a rare lunar phenomenon that is set to occur next week.

It is being billed as a “once-in-a-lifetime” lunar trifecta and Australian’s have one of the best vantage points around the globe to view what is being described as a “super red blue moon” as three lunar conditions converge.

Apparently, a super moon occurs when the moon reaches its closest point to earth and appears much larger than normal (some 30% they say). The red part happens during a lunar eclipse, and the blue moon is when there are two full moons in a month.

Some experts suggest that it is unlikely to see all three events converge again this century, although I have seen conflicting reports on this with suggestions there will be another one in 2028 – but given it last occurred in 1866 I’ll try and observe this one and leave it to the experts to argue over the timing of the next one.

I was pondering where to view it from away from the glare of city lights and decided on heading to the World Heritage listed Mungo National Park, south east of Broken Hill.

It has been at least two decades since I last visited the area so I am looking forward to it, although with daytime temperatures getting up to around the 45C mark I doubt I will linger there for too long afterwards. But it is a spectacular area, so I’ll play that one by ear and see how the weather is…

The phenomena is due to start on 31 January around 10:30pm (AEDT) and end just after 2:00AM (AEDT) on 1 February…

Cheers, Baz – The Landy
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Reply By: Joe Fury - Tuesday, Jan 23, 2018 at 16:05

Tuesday, Jan 23, 2018 at 16:05
G'day Baz ~ The Landy

Cheers and thank you for the heads up on this unique event, it could be said to be a once in a life time experience, my guess on that is how you ~ me or whom ever see the event unfold.

The last "super moon" which in truth was my first super moon viewing was nothing short of amazing and a genuine special moment simply because I was able to perch up on a prominent ridge top in the Pilbara with my wife and two teenage grandsons.

We watched the moon rise in full ~ totally speechless.

Safe travels : Joe Fury
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Reply By: Member - John T (Tamworth NSW) - Tuesday, Jan 23, 2018 at 16:08

Tuesday, Jan 23, 2018 at 16:08
Hi Baz.
Thanks for the reminder re the “blue /blood moon” happening. I am usually sound asleep at that time but must make an effort to get some photos of the event. We should be on the NW outskirts of the big smoke (Sydney) that night so hope the background lights won’t stuff up any camera stuff.
You better take plenty of cool drinks for Mungo.

Cheers
John
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Reply By: ExplorOz Team - Michelle - Tuesday, Jan 23, 2018 at 20:02

Tuesday, Jan 23, 2018 at 20:02
Yep already planning to see that - I checked the advice on best viewing on the Perth Observatory website where they said this one was better viewing for Perthites from the suburbs due to the low height at viewing time and the blocking from tree line if you head up into the hills. The news articles here say just walk out your back door between 7.30pm and 11pm and you'll see it with your naked eye. No need for binoculars etc. So that's easy!
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Follow Up By: Baz - The Landy - Tuesday, Jan 23, 2018 at 20:42

Tuesday, Jan 23, 2018 at 20:42
Hi Michelle, and I think technically it is only the ‘West Coasters’ who actually get to see it all on the 31st Jan in Australia.

For the rest of us the total eclipse occurs in the early hours of 1 Feb, but hey, mere detail and I’ll leave that for the purists to debate.

Let’s hope for cloud free skies...

Cheers, Baz
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Follow Up By: Dean K3 - Tuesday, Jan 23, 2018 at 22:55

Tuesday, Jan 23, 2018 at 22:55
Better of heading further east to where less tree occur like in the wheat belt pity its middle of week reckon it look pretty speccy at kokerbin rock or eaglestone rock lookign across the lake/saltpan
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Reply By: DiggZ - Tuesday, Jan 23, 2018 at 21:17

Tuesday, Jan 23, 2018 at 21:17
Here's the times for SE Qld

https://www.southburnetttimes.com.au/news/when-you-can-see-blood-moon-in-south-burnett/3316236/
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Reply By: Member - Boobook - Wednesday, Jan 24, 2018 at 07:42

Wednesday, Jan 24, 2018 at 07:42
Well Baz, call me old and cynical but I wouldn't get too upset if I miss it, especially in the Eastern States as you point out.

More media hype.

Sure a red moon is worth seeing. Tick.

A super moon. Well I don't know about you, but I have been caught by the ol' supermoon media hype before. This super moon is 13% bigger than a mini moon, when it's at its smallest., or about 6% bigger than average. I can tell you now, it isn't detectable to the naked eye. It looks like ......well ...the moon.

Depending on atmospheric conditions it can be 30% brighter than when it is dullest. or about 15% more than average. But your eyes will largely negate that.

And as you point out, in eastern Australia there simply is no blue moon. The eclipse occurs in February so it misses out by a day. Places that get in in January ( WA) will get the blue moon FWIW.

It will be a media frenzy in the lead up but I am sure many will be disappointed, especially when they can't see any difference in size, and realize there is no blue moon. The Blue moon media hype is out of the US where they do get a blue moon.





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Follow Up By: Baz - The Landy - Wednesday, Jan 24, 2018 at 08:38

Wednesday, Jan 24, 2018 at 08:38
Okay, I'll call you "old and cynical..."

For me, any excuse works for me to get Out & About in this great country of ours.

Cheers, Baz - The Landy
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Wednesday, Jan 24, 2018 at 14:29

Wednesday, Jan 24, 2018 at 14:29
Well I have to say Baz, that is a better attitude than mine.. LOL
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Wednesday, Jan 24, 2018 at 14:45

Wednesday, Jan 24, 2018 at 14:45
"And as you point out, in eastern Australia there simply is no blue moon. The eclipse occurs in February so it misses out by a day. Places that get in in January ( WA) will get the blue moon FWIW."

Depends upon whether you are working on EDST orsolar time.. As it is a solar event you should be working on solar time. DST is just a means of getting people up earlier, nothing to do with how the solar system works.
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Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Wednesday, Jan 24, 2018 at 15:35

Wednesday, Jan 24, 2018 at 15:35
LOL true Peter, but then I guess it's a moot point given a blue moon has even less to do with how the solar system works.

The concept of 2 full moons appearing in a single Georgean calender kind of makes the daylight savings thing irrevelent. If we worked on solar time there is no such thing as a Blue moon.
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Reply By: Michael H9 - Wednesday, Jan 24, 2018 at 21:13

Wednesday, Jan 24, 2018 at 21:13
If I happen to be camping in Coffs Harbour on the 31st, would the best place be on the beach or up at a lookout close bye?
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Follow Up By: Baz - The Landy - Saturday, Jan 27, 2018 at 08:02

Saturday, Jan 27, 2018 at 08:02
I reckon sitting on the beach would be a great way to watch the moon rise, although my experience with Coffs is that there is often cloud around.

Enjoy, whichever way you go,

Cheers, Baz - The Landy
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Reply By: DiggZ - Thursday, Jan 25, 2018 at 10:36

Thursday, Jan 25, 2018 at 10:36
The lookout, you'll be higher so closer to the moon and it will be bigger still.
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Reply By: Member - Andrew & Jen - Thursday, Jan 25, 2018 at 18:56

Thursday, Jan 25, 2018 at 18:56
As it comes up from the horizon, turn your back on it and bend over to look at it between your legs - bigger still! LOL
PS It works
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Follow Up By: Member - Andrew & Jen - Friday, Jan 26, 2018 at 18:33

Friday, Jan 26, 2018 at 18:33
Oops! I was reminded today that I got it the wrong way around. It looks SMALLER when viewed between your legs. Most embarrassing. My only excuse is a combination of age and CRAFT -LOL
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Reply By: IvanTheTerrible - Tuesday, Jan 30, 2018 at 21:31

Tuesday, Jan 30, 2018 at 21:31
Just be aware that the East Coast dont get the Blue Moon aqs the Full Moon is after midnight meaning we dont get two full moons in one month. Perth and Adelaide do get it. East coast miss out by 26 minutes
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Follow Up By: Member - Rod N (QLD) - Wednesday, Jan 31, 2018 at 07:55

Wednesday, Jan 31, 2018 at 07:55
Is that DST or real EST? In other words does it happen in Qld but not in NSW etc. Adelaide is 30 mins ahead of Brisbane.
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Follow Up By: IvanTheTerrible - Wednesday, Jan 31, 2018 at 18:59

Wednesday, Jan 31, 2018 at 18:59
Full moon in Vic and NSW is 12:26 on the 1st Feb because of EDST. EST it is 11:26 on the 31st Jan giving QLD a Blue moon
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Thursday, Feb 01, 2018 at 11:05

Thursday, Feb 01, 2018 at 11:05
Daylight saving time should be neglected when working out real days for solar events. It is a real blue moon.
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Follow Up By: Baz - The Landy - Thursday, Feb 01, 2018 at 16:18

Thursday, Feb 01, 2018 at 16:18
Just to clarify, it was a full moon that rose above the horizon at 8:18pm last night.

For the purist’s and astronomers I think the ‘technical timing’ of the full moon by definition was at 26 minutes after midnight last night...!

That was the early hours of this morning...

Not that I’m inclined to argue the toss either way...I’ll just call it as two in one month!

Cheers, Baz - The Landy
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Reply By: The Explorer - Thursday, Feb 01, 2018 at 01:44

Thursday, Feb 01, 2018 at 01:44
[vimeo]Look at the moon[/vimeo]
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Reply By: Baz - The Landy - Thursday, Feb 01, 2018 at 16:29

Thursday, Feb 01, 2018 at 16:29
Well, as it turns out I was ‘eclipsed’ By cloud cover at Mungo NP.

I remained hopeful of photographing the moon rising over ‘The Walls of China’ in the NP, and later photographing the eclipse in a clear Outback sky...

But it wasn’t too be as a front moved through. Mind you it brought day-time temperature of 20C, much cooler than 45C a few days back.

However, every cloud has a silver lining - I’ll just have to go back again soon to capture the full moon rise over this spectacular part of Australia...

In the meantime, I’ll just continue on relaxing by the Murrumbidgee River as I head home!

Cheers, Baz - The Landy
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