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‘Blood moon’ promises a spectacular show

Stargazers will have the opportunity to witness a complete lunar eclipse this weekend — weather permitting.

The astronomical phenomenon occurs when the sun, moon and Earth align. Also known as a “blood moon”, this is the fourth and final eclipse in a series called the lunar tetrad.

It earned its moniker owing to the copper hue it takes on when light from the sun is refracted off the Earth's atmosphere.

Locally, the event will begin at around 9.11pm, with the total eclipse starting at 11.11pm. Maximum eclipse, when the moon is closest to the centre shadow, will occur around 11.47pm. The total eclipse will end at around 12.23am.

Photographer Chris Burville has big plans for the display. He told The Royal Gazette: “I'm really hoping for a show this time as the last couple eclipses have been marred by poor weather.”

While often alone in his endeavours, the astronomy enthusiast said: “I feel privileged to witness some beautiful cosmic events often overlooked by others.”

Forecaster Andrew Read is less hopeful. He said: “It's going to be quite cloudy on Sunday night.

We're still talking mostly cloudy with showers, unfortunately. If we're lucky we might get some breaks and actually be able to see the moon. It's a pity because blood moons are actually quite spectacular. I witnessed one at home in Australia.”

He added: “I wouldn't discount it completely, the weather can always change.”

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Published September 25, 2015 at 9:00 am (Updated September 25, 2015 at 2:54 am)

‘Blood moon’ promises a spectacular show

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