A rare selenelion event will be observable in Wellington tomorrow morning, with a chance to witness the sun and an eclipsed moon in the sky at the same time.
Blood Moon photo by Derek Liang
Story by Mark Cubey
Saturday morning’s lunar eclipse will be the longest Blood Moon of the century, lasting one hour and 43 minutes.
A Blood Moon refers to the phenomenon of a totally eclipsed moon appearing reddish in colour, illuminated by sunlight filtered and refracted by the earth’s atmosphere.
Such eclipses occur when the sun, earth and moon align in a straight line and are referred to as “selenelion” events, a combination of selene (the moon) and helion (sun).
The first such event was observed in 1666, a date that makes some Satanists go “woo”.
Tomorrow morning the eclipsed moon will appear on the western horizon as the rising sun appears on the eastern horizon.
In Wellington, there’s a chance of seeing the eclipsed moon as the sun appears above the horizon.
Keen sky-watchers should get up in time to get to a good vantage point by 6:24am when the partial moon eclipse starts and the moon is getting red.
The total moon eclipse starts around 7:30am with a completely red moon. Head to a high point or an unobstructed area with free sight to west-southwest for the best view of the eclipse.
At 7:32pm the eclipse reaches its greatest magnitude while the entire moon is above the horizon in Wellington. The true maximum point of this eclipse cannot be seen in Wellington because the moon is below the horizon at that time. Since the moon is near the horizon at this time, head to a high point or find an unobstructed area with free sight to west-southwest for the best view of the eclipse.
Hopefully there will be no clouds.
Astrology enthusiasts have been excited by this event despite no scientific validation for their suppositions.
Catherine Goshen of Goshen Astrology reckoned that “with Mars retrograde and Uranus strongly in the mix at this special full moon, emotions can run high and you may act rashly before you have time to think.
“The call is to use this time as an emotional reset period, a time of reflection, rather than one of high activity.
“However, if intense feelings overwhelm you, channel them into non-violent activities which can bring satisfying results.”
Given that the Hurricanes do not face the Crusaders until Saturday night, this is probably sage advice.
Another unscientific star-gazer Jamie Partridge predicted “the lunar eclipse will have a profound effect on deeply personal aspects of your private life.. and give you an opportunity to part with any cumbersome emotional baggage.”
Just like any other weekend, then.
Go the Canes.