Watching the Easter Eclipse
This Easter there’s a total eclipse of the Moon and you won’t need a telescope to view it. Unlike solar eclipses, lunar eclipses are perfectly safe to watch with the naked eye.
A total lunar eclipse occurs when the Sun, Earth and Moon are all in a straight line in space with Earth in the middle.
Earth blocks out the light coming from the Sun and what we see is Earth’s shadow move across the face of the Moon.
On Easter Saturday, 4 April 2015, the total lunar eclipse begins at 7.54pm and ends at 8.06pm (Western Australian time).
The direction to look is east.
Do you know why the date for Easter changes every year?
Easter Sunday is always the first Sunday after the full Moon, following the March equinox. It’s a bit of a calculation and here it is explained further.
An equinox is when Earth’s axis isn’t tilted toward the Sun one way or the other and the hours of night and day are almost equal in length. March’s equinox is on or around 22 March every year.
This year, the March equinox is on the 21st. The full Moon after this date is on Saturday, 4 April and therefore Easter Sunday is the following Sunday which is 5 April 2015.
Carol Redford (aka “Galaxy Girl”) is an accidental stargazer! Carol has a Bachelor of Arts and a post graduate degree in business marketing. After a decade of international travel and work, she returned to regional WA in 1999 and purchased the local Gingin Observatory business. Along with a business partner, she ran the Observatory for five years before selling it in 2012. Carol’s passion for astronomy science communication continues with Stargazers Club WA and she is currently the Chair of WA’s astronomy and space science community, Astronomy WA.
Image credit: Total eclipse of the Moon at Old Perth Observatory by local astrophotographer, John Goldsmith © Celestial Visions