Super event on the rise

If astronomy was a movie release then today’s supermoon activity would eclipse the hype that surrounded the release of Titanic in 1997.

In fact, for amateur astronomers it's the big one.

John Fowler has the perfect vantage point to capture next today's supermoon event. Picture: DAVID SICKERDICK

John Fowler has the perfect vantage point to capture next today's supermoon event. Picture: DAVID SICKERDICK

Lake Boga astronomer John Fowler said supermoons are not all that uncommon, there are four scheduled for this summer.

"Depending on the weather, it will look spectacular," he said.

What makes this event unique is that it comes as a trilogy and that has not occurred since March 31, 1866.

Mr Fowler said supermoons happen when a full moon coincides with a point in the orbit which is closest to the Earth.

"This makes the moon appear up to 14 per cent larger and 30 per cent brighter than usual," he said.

"While the moon's average distance is 382,900 kilometres from Earth, its orbit isn't perfectly circular, so that distance varies a small amount."

The perigee for January's supermoon is the closest to the Earth of this year.

But it's more than that. On December 3, 2017, Earth experienced the first supermoon event of the trilogy — a cold moon supermoon.

This was followed on January 1, 2018 with the second event — a wolf moon supermoon.

But according to astronomers, the best is yet to come.

Earth will today experience a blue moon blood moon supermoon.

During this event the blue moon will be complimented by a lunar eclipse — the moon will pass directly behind the Earth into its shadows — blocking direct sunlight.

The reflection of the sun will create a red tint on the moon.

This lining up of the celestial bodies will not occur again for another decade.

Although the event will be visible around the world, Australia has front-row seats for the spectacular event.

Those keen to catch a glimpse or snap a photograph should get the best view at moon rise (6.30pm to 7.30pm) or moon set (4.30am to 5.30am) the following morning.

The lunar eclipse will begin from around 9.51pm; the red colour will begin to illuminate the moon’s surface by 10.48pm.

The moon is expected to remain completely blood red for a 15 minute period from 11.51pm.

For those unable to access a telescope the blue moon blood moon promises to dazzle the naked eye so grab your camera and popcorn, get comfortable and enjoy the show.

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