If you look up into the sky tonight you might notice something a little different. The Super Blood Blue Moon will be traversing the stars in a rare combination of three different lunar events.
But what is it exactly? A sign of the forthcoming apocalypse? We hope not. We’ve put together helpful little breakdown of the different elements of tonight's lunar spectacular:
Supermoon: What’s that in the sky? It’s a bird? A plane? No, it’s Supermoon! This comes about when the moon is full and also in its closest orbit to Earth, known as being at perigee, which is a fancy science word we didn’t know before today.
Blue Moon: This is what happens when there’s two full moons in one calendar month. Technically Sydney won’t see a blue moon this time around since the moon won’t be full until after midnight, meaning that it will be February, and for those playing along at home that’s a different month to January (but don’t worry, there’ll be one in March for NSW folks to enjoy).
Blood Moon: Not as macabre as it sounds. This occurs when the Earth moves between the sun and the moon, called a full lunar eclipse. The moon is then illuminated by scattered light from the Earth’s atmosphere, giving our closest cosmic neighbour that distinctive red shade.
These events aren’t all that rare on their own, with each happening every few years or so. But together, these astronomical wonders falling on the same night is something special indeed and the best part is it's completely safe to look at.
But where to watch it? Luckily it’ll be hard to miss. Dr Andrew Jacob, curator and astronomer at the Sydney Observatory, says that anywhere in Sydney where you can see the north or northeastern sky will be perfect considering the moon will be so clear. Providing the clouds part, of course. You’ll be able to see it perfectly in the city, but Andrew’s advice is to move somewhere with fewer lights if you really want the full experience.
Unless you were lucky enough to snag a ticket to join Andrew and his team’s sold out event at the observatory tonight you might be wondering where you should set up camp to sneak a peek.
There are plenty of easily accessible (and free) spots in and around Sydney perfectly suited for tonight’s event. Here are a few options for you to choose from...
Venture across to Pyrmont to set up your telescope in Giba Park. Alternatively you can grab yourself a seat at Henry Deane’s rooftop bar which stays open until midnight, as is the nearby Glenmore Hotel, meaning you can sit back with a cold one and watch the magic happen.
Staying around the harbour there’s Illoura Reserve while further out of the city is Bradleys Head, where Sydney Harbour and the CBD will act as the backdrop for your night of stargazing, as well as Clarkes Point Reserve. Nielsen Park is the ideal place to journey tonight if a picnic dinner is on the menu, as is nearby Robertson Park.
This is something that happens once in a blue moon so don’t miss out.