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Lunar eclipse last night

UPDATE, 8am, November 29: Did you get any photos of the lunar eclipse? Send them in using the form next to this story or email them to us and we'll show them to the world in a photo gallery.

November 28: THERE is going to be a lunar eclipse tonight about 11.30pm, so you might want to get away from well lit areas that make stargazing difficult.

While the moon is only grazing the Earth's shadow, and there won't be a full eclipse, Australia and New Zealand are the most well placed to see the event, according to David Reneke, a writer for the Australasian Science Magazine.

"It's a full moon, so it's going to be quite dramatic," he said.

Starting at 11.30pm, the moon should steadily move through a colour change, running until 2am.

"We should see a genuine discolouring," he said.

Unlike a full solar eclipse, where the moon can blot out part of the sun, a lunar eclipse simply means a change of colour for the moon.

The eclipse will go for at least an hour, but in order to see it at its best, people will need to head out to darker areas with less light pollution.

While Mr Reneke said a lunar eclipse was not as rare an event as a solar eclipse, it would certainly be a sight to see.

"It's not a rare event, but it's an unusual event. It will be nice to have a look at just for the curiosity factor," he said.

Mr Reneke said the next few months would be great for amateur astronomers, as Jupiter and Venus were rising, and these are some of the best objects to view with a telescope.

Rodney Nesbey, from the Port Macquarie Astronomical Observatory, said that the eclipse would be visible to the naked eye across Australia provided the weather is clear.

"This is not a full lunar eclipse, when the moon goes very dark and red, but it will only be dimmer than normal" as it will only be covered in the partial shadow of the Earth passing in between the moon and the sun, Mr Nesbey said.

The Port Macquarie Astronomical Observatory is a volunteer-based organisation and is the only astronomical group between the Hunter region and Brisbane.

They will be open tonight as part of their regular open nights program.

Send in your photos of the eclipse using the form next to this story or email them to starphot@northernstar.com.au.

Topics:  astronomy, lunar eclipse, space


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