Josie Jakovac

Unable to see the Super Blue Blood moon? Here’s how to pretend you did

Unfortunately, the Sydney performance of the Super Blue Blood moon has been cancelled due to bad weather. But no matter, we’re here to help you lie about it. You saw it. Of course, you did.

 

 

Sydney, get ready for the most spectacular celestial spectacle of a lifetime that you’ll never actually see: a Super Blue Blood moon. Alas, we’ve been graced with steely-grey skies, rain and an all-time-high of disappointment. Still determined to not be left out of the ‘moon-talk’ loop for the next decade? Don’t worry, I’ll tell you everything you need to know to convince your future grandchildren that you witnessed this rare phenomenon.

NASA  – 2hrs ago – Twitter

“What do you get when you have a supermoon, which also happens to be the 2nd full Moon of the month, passing through Earth’s shadow during a total lunar eclipse? A #SuperBlueBloodMoon! Catch this lunar trifecta coming our way just before dawn tomorrow”

It’s been 150 years since the last lunar trifecta in the Western Hemisphere – a rather recherché convergence of a Super Moon, a Blue Moon and a total lunar eclipse. But what will this actually look like? National Geographic has a clue.

 

 

The near full moon reached its closest point to earth at approximately 9:00 PM (AEST) on Tuesday, which means the full moon tonight will appear 7% larger & 14% brighter than usual. The simplest way to test this optical illusion is to hold your thumb next to the moon at the beginning and middle of the eclipse, comparing the relative size. According to Dr Tanya Hill, there should be no actual difference, it just appears that way.

TIP #1 For Sydneysiders looking to persuade their future great-grandkids: If you really want to make a convincing argument, take photos of you and your friends holding up your thumbs to the sky.

Astronomers then expect to observe the Earth’s shadow slowly gliding across the Moon’s surface from left to right from 10:48 PM (AEST) until the darkness completely engulfs it. It’s at this point that ‘Totality’ begins, the moon turns a deep shade of orange-red surrounded by a blue halo. This ‘blood red’ hue is scientifically attributed to the ‘sunrise and sunset of the Earth falling on the Moon’ simultaneously.

TIP #2: Print off the picture below and ‘forget’ about it in a drawer or cupboard, orchestrating the future situation where you (or your grandchildren) ‘accidentally’ stumble across it.

 

Yeah, but it was much bigger back in 2018, bluer as well. You should have seen it.

 

We can actually push it further than that. Thanks to the wonderful invention of the internet, you can also watch online webcasts of this atypical lunar occurrence such as the Virtual Telescope Project & Slooh.

TIP #3: Record these webcasts and store on your hard-drive as evidence of you recording the Super Blue Blood moon (WARNING: only to be attempted by the technologically advanced, if you’re anything like me then this one’s not for you).

If you follow all these steps, I personally guarantee you’ll have enough evidence to convince a small group of children that you didn’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime occurrence.

Happy ‘observing’ Sydney!

 

 

Josie Jakovac

Josie Jakovac is studying B Commerce (Dalyell Scholars)/B Laws at the University of Sydney. With a big mouth, a passion for people and a love for current affairs, she’s never one to shy away from a lively debate. When she’s not sipping coffee, mulling over textbooks and rapidly typing up her next article, you’ll find her beach-hopping and making music.

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