Tag Archives: Moon

Australia sees its last lunar eclipse until 2018

The full moon above Australia will be “blood red” according to some reports as the moon enters the fringes of our Earth’s shadow called the penumbra tomorrow night.

The Moon’s redness will be a result of the selective scattering of blue light by our atmosphere, which causes only the longest wavelengths (red) light to reach the edges of the Earth’s shadow (called the penumbra). Our huge, red Moon will pass through the penumbra as it orbits the Earth then become momentarily invisible as it traverses the centre of the Earth’s shadow (called the umbra).

SMH lunar eclipse science infographic jameskennedymonash
Image from Sydney Morning Herald

Melbourne is the perfect viewing spot for this spectacular eclipse. The reddened Moon will also appear extremely large (this is an optical illusion that results from the Moon being very low in the sky!).

Date: Wednesday 8th October, 2014
Time: Moonrise is at 7:21pm. Eclipse starts at 7:30pm and finishes at 11:30pm.
Location: low in the eastern (or north-eastern) sky

Penumbral Eclipse begins: 7:17 PM
Partial Eclipse begins: 8:18 PM
Full Eclipse begins: 9:27 PM
Maximum Eclipse: 9:55 PM
Full Eclipse ends: 10:22 PM
Partial Eclipse ends: 11:32 PM
Penumbral Eclipse ends: 12:32 AM

For more information: http://www.timeanddate.com/eclipse/in/australia/melbourne

The next time this happens will be in 2018. Make sure you get outside to see this one tomorrow night!


Book: Nocturne: A Journey In Search of Moonlight

'Nocturne' on my gorgeously red bed

Unfamiliar. Intriguing. Exotic.
304 pages, ★★★★

Reading Nocturne: A Journey in Search of Moonlight feels like gazing at a full moon. Its deep, blue hardcover spills over the edges of bright, white paper, the lettering on which represents cleverly-arranged crater-shadows.

We follow the author far and wide in pursuit of moonlight. He takes us from London to Japan, to Arizona, and to Las Vegas; and spans the entire arts/sciences spectrum, too, into what I would call ‘culturally unfamiliar territory’.

On the one hand, this book inspired me to read more books. It reminded me that I know nothing about Milton, Goethe, Li Po, or Blake. On the other hand, his sections on history of science (Galileo’s telescope), the unlit street story and the author’s direct experiences (the London lunar eclipse, the Arizona moon-ray collector), were much easier to relate to and a pleasure to read.

Nocturne introduced me to new themes I want to explore: Hei’an Japan, Arabic tradition, history of Western science, and Western philosophy.

Most inspiring was the author’s funding application. In one fleeting mention, he tells us that he applied for funding (from an unnamed funding body) to go to Japan. He was granted the cash immediately, and used it to great effect. His trip to Japan became a substantial part of this book. If I could write like he does, then I could apply for funding, too…

Most people won’t find Nocturne as exotic as I did. For me, all culture is exotic, which is why I enjoyed this book. ★★★★