Partial eclipse a lengthy spectacle

AN awe-inspiring spectacle of happenstance will cause tilted heads in Tasmania as tonight's full moon is blacked out by the Earth.

Tonight's 100-minute full lunar eclipse is believed to be one of the longest of its kind since July 16, 2000.

While willing moon gazers across the western hemisphere may be poised with their iPads, their ancient counterparts _ such as the Babylonians _ were busy documenting the event on their own tablets made of clay.

According to America's National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Babylonians witnessed the first instance of a partial lunar eclipse in 746BC, an event reported to last more than three hours.

These days the eclipse is recognised as nothing more than an alignment of chance, as the moon passes through the Earth's shadow.


Tasmania's lunar eclipse

Moon rise: 5.36pm.

Maximum eclipse: 5.46pm.

Total eclipse ends: 6.25pm.

Partial eclipse ends: 7.33pm.

Penumbral eclipse ends: 8.36pm.


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