Weather News

You lunar bloody beauty!

Anthony Sharwood, Wednesday May 26, 2021 - 21:37 EST

Well, the blood supermoon came out during Wednesday night's lunar eclipse, and not too many people would have been howling with disappointment.

Despite fears of cloud in some spots, the vast majority of the country was cloud-free, which meant most Australians could watch in awe as Earth's shadow covered the moon, leaving it a pinkish-red or "blood" tinge.

Image: Bloody awesome! Source: Mike Hartz.

As Weatherzone meteorologist Ben Domensino explained earlier today, the red colour happens because:

  • Earth's atmosphere bends some of the sun's light towards the moon during a total lunar eclipse.
  • This light indirectly illuminates the moon's surface.
  • Our planet's atmosphere also filters out some of the colours at shorter wavelengths, like blue and green.
  • This leaves colours with longer wavelengths, such as red and orange, to pass through our planet's atmosphere and continue on towards the moon.

All of which left ol' crater face looking like this.

And this.

Image: More salmon-coloured than bloody when you think about it. Source: Sonia's Garden Adventures.

So what did we all learn from this?

1. Well, most of us learned that our phone cameras are nowhere near as good as we thought they were.

2. If you live south of the tropics, blood supermoons are really teriffic for about five minutes, then it's time to head inside and jump under the doona.

And that's about it for now. The next lunar eclipse in Australia will occur on November 8, 2022.

More breaking news

Sydney Morning Herald
ABC News

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