Once in a blue moon: Gravity Discovery Centre to bring telescopes to Yokine for rare lunar event

Astronomer and tour guide Riley Johnston. Picture: Martin Kennealey d477961
Astronomer and tour guide Riley Johnston. Picture: Martin Kennealey d477961

PEOPLE will be able to see a rare lunar event this month when the Gravity Discovery Centre (GDC) Observatory brings its telescopes to Yokine.

UPDATE, January 31: Organisers have changed the venue to Hertha Reserve on Cedric Street, Stirling to accommodate a larger than expected number of people – almost 7000 people have indicated they are going on the Facebook event.

The observatory and Astronomy Education Services will host a free community event for the “super blue blood moon” eclipse on January 31.

GDC astronomer Riley Johnston said it would be the first of two blue moon events, which occurred in months with two full moons, in 2018.

The first full moon this month was on January 2, and there will also be two full moons in March.

“The super part of the moon means that the moon is at its closest point to the earth,” Mr Johnston said.

The West Swan resident said the blood moon was due to the moon passing into the shadow of the earth.

He said the moon would be blocked from all light, and have a “coppery orange to red” colour.

“We are going to have several telescopes set up, all pointing to the moon,” he said.

Mr Johnston said there would also be a projector displaying a live image of the moon during the total lunar eclipse.

He said they wanted to get as many people involved in the free event as possible and were encouraging people to go see the “super rare” trifecta of events.

“The drive up to Gingin is quite inaccessible to a lot of younger families,” he said.

If weather conditions are suitable, the event will run from 7.30-11pm on January 31 at Yokine Reserve.

More than 1700 people have indicated they are going on the GDC Observatory Facebook event, and 17,000 have indicated they are interested in attending.

Visit gravitycentre.com.au for more.

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