Sky show stars sun and moon
ALTHOUGH clouds partially spoiled the show, Ipswich stargazers turned their eyes to the skies for a rare lunar eclipse.
The eclipse coincidentally marked the summer solstice (story below).
Lunar eclipses occur when the earth lines up between the sun and the moon, blocking the sun’s rays to the moon.
Despite being in shadow, the moon does not become invisible, as there is still residual light deflected towards it by our atmosphere.
Unlike solar eclipses, lunar eclipses are safe to view without any special glasses or equipment.
Astronomers anticipated the eclipse would leave the moon bathed in a blood-red hue on Tuesday evening.
However cloud cover meant sky-watchers only got a partial glimpse of the moon when it would have been at its most colourful.
If all was rosy, it was to be followed by about an hour of partial eclipse.
Residents in Sydney and Canberra saw 45 minutes of partial eclipse while Darwin, Melbourne and Hobart saw about 20 minutes.
Astronomy aficionados in North America and Europe were served up their latest celestial treat in the early hours of the morning.
Ipswich amateur astronomer Brendan Downs turned his camera skywards as the lunar eclipse show started about 6.40pm Tuesday.
Mr Downs said clouds limited what he could get but he captured images including the moon in eclipse from the Denmark Hill lookout.
In June, Mr Downs hit astronomy pay dirt when he spotted a previously unidentified exploding star – or supernova.
Now officially catalogued as 2010dc, the supernova is in a galaxy far, far away called Pava.
Such is the unlikelihood of finding a supernova that the only one Mr Downs found before it was in 1997.
Send you lunar eclipse photos to email@example.com.