A SUPER lunar event will have astrologists and amateur sky-gazers’ blood racing when the Super Blue Blood Moon peaks behind the Hills on Wednesday.
The rare event is the combination of three phenomena, a total lunar eclipse (blood moon) two full moons in one month (a blue moon), and the passing of the moon on its closest orbit (super moon).
Perth Observatory’s Matt Woods said although their January 31 total lunar eclipse event was sold out, there were many places near the Bickley astrology centre and around the eastern and hills region with spectacular views for avid moon watchers.
“The lunar eclipse is such an easy event because people don’t have to pay to go see it and it’s something that really gets kids interested,” he said.
Mundaring Weir’s South Ledge Lookout was named as one great vantage point to spot the moon rising.
Lesmurdie Falls and Lake Leschenaultia are two more hot spots but the moon will be visible from any backyard.
Perth is particularly lucky as parts of eastern Australia, where the moon will not rise until the morning of February 1 at 1.26am, will miss the ‘blue moon’ part of the lunar event.
Here in Perth the moon will rise at 7.09pm but not appear above the Hills until 8.15pm, reaching its peak at 9.29pm.
Mr Woods said his interest in astronomy began in 1994 when the Space Shuttle Columbia flew over Northam and hoped more children would be drawn to astronomy through events like Wednesday’s Super Blue Blood Moon.
“At the observatory we’ve been focusing on getting out there and working on science outreach,” he said.
“We’ve tried to promote the observatory over the past five years with a big effort to push astronomy into the public interest.”
The Perth Observatory also works with the University of WA and the Gravity Discovery Centre Observatory in Gingin who will hold an open event at Yokine Reserve from 7.30pm.
The Mundaring Visitor Centre said there were plenty of campsites still available at Lake Leschenaltia for an opportunity to sleep out under the stars, or rather, moon.
While blue moons, blood moons and super moons are not rare themselves, they have not happened together since 1866.
By Claire Ottaviano