Sky gazers treated to total lunar eclipse
Sky gazers across Australia and parts of Asia have been treated to a rare lunar eclipse - that is if bad weather did not block the view.
The total eclipse caused the moon to turn blood red overnight, but heavy clouds blanketing the sky across much of Australia meant some moon watchers were set to miss out on the show.
The eclipse, which started just before midnight (AEDT), lasted for up to three hours as the Earth's shadow moved across the moon.
"When the shadow first starts to move across the moon it's quite dark, but by the time you go into totality you're getting scattered light through the atmosphere that will brighten up the Moon and make it appear reddish," astronomer Dr Tanya Hill, from the Melbourne Planetarium, said.
But a monsoonal trough across the north of Australia and a trough of low pressure sitting off Western Australia meant the view was hampered for most of the country.
And it could be a long wait until Australians can see another total lunar eclipse.
There will be a partial eclipse visible across Australia in June next year but there will not be another total lunar eclipse until April 2014.
"Generally there are two or three eclipses each year, so somewhere on the planet you can see it, but we've got a bit of a wait before we see our next total lunar eclipse," Dr Hill said.
Photo by Nick Gilpin.