LIGHT AND SHADE: The last lunar eclipse was on June 18, 2011.
LIGHT AND SHADE: The last lunar eclipse was on June 18, 2011. TERRY WEST

There's a blood moon rising

IF THE sky is clear tonight, you could be in for a pretty spectacular sight.

A rare "blood moon" lunar eclipse will be visible for two hours this evening, appearing large and red on the eastern horizon.

The moon will rise at 5.27pm and, according to Sydney Observatory, it will already be totally eclipsed by the time it is visible in NSW.

Total eclipse will start to clear at 6.25pm, with the entire event over by 7.30pm.

Meteorologist Max Gonzalez said passing cloud fronts meant there was a 50% chance locals would be able to catch a glimpse of tonight's astronomical event.

"We're going to be experiencing southerly (winds) until at least Easter, which will bring cloudy conditions and passing showers for most of the week, especially today and tomorrow," Mr Gonzalez said.

"The next 48 hours are going to be wet across Northern NSW.

"But clouds are hit and miss, so it's better to try than not."

BLOOD MOON FACTS

  • Blood moons appear to be a dark red colour during eclipse due to the refraction of sunlight through the Earth's atmosphere. This is the same effect that causes sunsets to appear red.
  • Blood moons have been seen as omens in different cultures around the world. Christian pastor Mark Biltz has predicted the Second Coming of Jesus will coincide with the final eclipse of the tetrad (a series of four consecutive total lunar eclipses, with six full moons in between) which begins with tonight's eclipse.
  • The next total lunar eclipses visible in Australia will occur on October 8, 2014 and April 4 2015.

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