Like anyone else who looks to the night sky occasionally, at Broadsheet we enjoy a good meteor shower, eclipse or even just a larger-than-average moon. So it comes as no great joy to report that the lunar eclipse and “strawberry” moon phenomenon that’s been popping up in news reports the past couple days isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
Tomorrow morning’s lunar eclipse is “penumbral”, which means that though the earth will move between the sun and moon, the three won’t form a straight line. It’ll cause a blurred effect around just half of the moon – and even that will be almost impossible to detect with the naked eye. And despite its name, the “strawberry” moon won’t take on a red hue. It gets its moniker from the time of year – North America’s strawberry season. Every full moon in June is in fact a “strawberry” moon.
“To tell you the truth, I’m not going to be losing any sleep over this one,” Perry Vlahos, vice president of the Astronomical Society of Victoria, tells Broadsheet. “It’s at a very user-unfriendly hour (about 4am) and for most people, there’ll be very little to see. People will not notice it unless someone who knows points it out. This is not a regular total eclipse of the moon, it’s not even a normal partial eclipse – it’s a grade below that.”
If you’re willing to chance it, the best time to view the eclipse is around 3.45am in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, 1.45am in Perth and 3.15am in Adelaide.
Enjoy that sleep in.