Last night the world was treated to a total lunar eclipse that also coincided with a so-called super moon. The entirety of the eclipse - all five hours and 17 minutes - was visible from practically everywhere in Australia. Or at least it would have been if clouds hadn't spoiled the show.
Sadly, our next total solar eclipse isn’t until 2028. However, that doesn’t mean we there are no eclipses to get excited about for the next 11 years. In fact, we’ve got more eclipses coming than you can poke a stick at.
Although our next solar eclipse isn’t until July 22, 2028 (and it won’t be visible from everywhere in Australia), it’s not that long until the next lunar eclipse is visible from Australia. But firstly, what's the difference?
Solar vs Lunar eclipses
During a solar eclipse, the moon passes directly between the Earth and the sun. Depending on where you are in the world, you will either see the disk of the sun completely obstructed by the moon (a total eclipse), or a portion of the sun will be covered by the moon (partial eclipse). There are also cases where the entire shadow of the moon passes in front of the sun, but does not wholly cover it (an annular eclipse).
During a lunar eclipse the moon passes behind the Earth into its shadow which is separated into two distinct areas. The ‘umbra’, which is the area of the shadow where no direct solar radiation can reach and the ‘penumbra’ which is sort of like an ‘outer shadow’ where solar radiation is only partially blocked. Thus, there are three types of lunar eclipse:
- Total – the entirety of the moon passes through the centre of the Earth’s umbra.
- Partial – the moon enters Earth’s penumbra, but only partially enters Earth’s umbra.
- Penumbral – the moon passes through the Earth’s penumbra only.
Australian Eclipses In 2018
If you were one of millions of Aussies who missed out on the Super Blood Blue Moon due to poor weather, we have a small consolation for you: a much less exciting partial solar eclipse will be visible for a short amount of time to Tasmanians and the southernmost Victorians on July 13, 2018.
All Australians are privy to another total lunar eclipse on July 27-28, 2018, but those of us on the east coast won't get to experience the entirety of the eclipse. This time, if you're on the west coast, you'll see more of the eclipse for much longer than anyone else.
Australian Eclipses In 2019
There are no total eclipses in 2019, but Australians will see a partial lunar eclipse on July 16-17. A handful of Australians in the north west will be able to catch the annular solar eclipse on Boxing Day, December 26.
Australian Eclipses In 2020
2020 is the year of the penumbral eclipse! During 2020, Australians will be able to see three penumbral eclipses on January 10-11, June 5-6 and November 29 and 30. There is also an annular solar eclipse but it will be hardly visible from Australia.
Australian Eclipses In 2021
The west coast again miss out on seeing the full duration of the total lunar eclipse, which will occur on May 26. Later in the year, on November 18-19, a partial lunar eclipse will occur, though so much of the moon will be covered during this instance that it will practically be a second total lunar eclipse.
Australian Eclipses In 2022
The west coast of Australia gets the raw deal again, when another total lunar eclipse hits on November 8. Everywhere else in Australia will see the full length of the total phase, when the moon is directly behind the Earth's umbra.
And here's a handy table that shows you all the eclipses that will be visible in Australia for the next five years!
|Date||Year||Type Of Eclipse|
|January 31||2018||Total Lunar|
|July 13||2018||Partial Solar|
|July 27/28||2018||Total Lunar|
|July 16/17||2019||Partial Lunar|
|December 26||2019||Annular Solar|
|January 10/11||2020||Penumbral Lunar|
|June 5/6||2020||Penumbral Lunar|
|November 29/30||2020||Penumbral Lunar|
|May 26||2021||Total Lunar|
|November 18/19 2021||2021||Partial Lunar|
|November 8 2022||2022||Total Lunar|