Lunar eclipse likely to be clouded

Tauranga residents will miss the lunar eclipse.

There is a super blue blood moon eclipse happening in the early hours of Thursday morning, but Tauranga residents are likely to miss it because of the weather.

The forecast for Tauranga on Wednesday evening is for cloudy skies and a few showers. The skies are not expected to clear until well after the trifecta eclipse is well over.

It’s the north east flow, says MetService meteorologist Tuporo Marsters.

“If you were to go into the south west parts of the North Island it would be more sheltered,” says Tuporo.

The top half is forecast to receive a few showers, all the way out to East Cape. Northland Coromandel and Tauranga look like they will be under cloud as well.

“The best place is the southern portion of the North Island where it is more sheltered; If you are down in the Wairarapa -  Napier, Hastings they have a bit of high cloud but you should be able to get something.”

A blue moon is when two full moons happen in the same calendar month; lunar eclipses occur when the moon passes into Earth’s shadow; and supermoons happen when the moon’s perigee — its closest approach to Earth in a single orbit — coincides with a full moon. In this case, the supermoon also happens to be the day of the lunar eclipse.

The eclipse begins at 11.51pm on Wednesday night with the total eclipse lasting from 1.51am till 3.07pm.

The red colour of the moon during the eclipse comes from the sunlight refracting through the earth’s atmosphere.

The atmosphere scatters the shorter wavelength blue light while the longer wavelength red and orange light passes right through.

The moon changes colour as it moves into earth’s shadow.

Similarly there are blue skies during the day because with head on sunlight the blue light is scattered towards us.

But at sunset the light is passing through more air, so more of the blue light is scattered away, producing the reds and oranges of sunset and sunrise.


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