Lane Cove Planet/Star Gazing – Longest Total Lunar Eclipse

    Lane Cove (well okay everybody on earth and in particular Australia) is about to see a rare sight in the sky. There will be a lunar eclipse that lasts for nearly four hours.  The maximum lunar eclipse lasting for one hour and 43 minutes!!!.    ITC was speaking to Lane Cove local David Roenfeldt (who we met when he nominated as a candidate in last year’s local council elections) and he gave us the heads up about this amazing event.

    We know Lane Cove loves star-gazing.  In May 2018 Lane Cove came out in force to help set a world record for the largest number of people simultaneously observing the night sky.  Locals packed the star-gazing events held by Tambourine Bay Sea Scouts and Greenwich Sailing Club.  ITC thought it might be a good idea to tell everyone about this big lunar event.  (as ITC is writing this article I’m singing Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of the Heart – who does not love an 80’s power ballad???)

    Early Morning Viewing

    Get ready to jump out of bed early on Saturday 28th July 2018.  You will be able to view the event in Lane Cove from 3.14 am.  Unlike a solar eclipse you can watch the moon without worrying about damaging your eyes.  You don’t need fancy equipment to see the moon, but if you have some binoculars this will give you a better view.

    The moon will have a beautiful red-coloured glow – commonly known as a blood moon. The moon might not be the vibrant blood-red star gazers have seen in the past.

    Dr Michael Brown from Monash University told ITC via twitter the following:


    The best time to view the total eclipse in Lane Cove is from 6.21 am.  The time line below is from the website 

    Other websites to look at include NASA dedicated Lunar Eclipse page and Earthsky.

    Mars to Shine Brightly

    So much is happening in the sky.   Mars will be easier to spot for the rest of July.  Mars will be at its closest point to Earth since 2003 as the Earth passes between Mars and the Sun.  Don’t worry about a collision. Mars is still million and millions kms away from Earth.  You will get the best view on 31 July 2018.

    More Planets To View

    Until the end of this month you will also be able to easily spot Mercury, Venus, Jupiter and Saturn.  There are some apps that can help you find out which planet you’re viewing.  A popular free app is SkyView® Lite

    Northern Sydney Astronomical Society

    If the lunar eclipse fuels your passion for star-gazing, you’re in luck.  The  Northern Sydney Astronomical Society is based in Lane Cove. Once a month (at 7:30pm on the third Tuesday of the month) they meet at Regis Hall in the grounds of St Ignatius’ College, Riverview Street, Riverview (Lane Cove) (click here for a map).  This meeting focuses on the theoretical aspects of astronomy, each month featuring a guest lecturer, and touching on subjects such as cosmology and astrophysics.

    The Society also caters for  new Astronomers. The New Astronomers Group is a seven month course, held on the fourth Tuesday of the month at Regis Hall in the grounds of St Ignatius’ College, Riverview Street, Riverview (Lane Cove) (click here for a map). It’s a great place for people who have recently purchased or plan to purchase a telescope and would like to learn how to use it. The group also caters for those who have had their telescopes for a while and are interested in talks and presentations on the latest updates in astronomy. Topics include star-hopping the night sky, learning to use your telescope more effectively, astrophotography and other practical areas of astronomy. See here for details.  A new course starts around April each year and you can register to receive info about the next course here.


    Facebook:  Northern Sydney Astronomical Society

    Website:  Northern Sydney Astronomical Society Website

    Phone:   0423 971 374

    Have fun watching the lunar eclipse and remember to be a brilliant roving reporter and send us your photos via messenger or email.

    Do you have a local issue you would like help with? ITC is here to help just email us at [email protected]

    • Sign up for the weekly In the Cove Newsletter
    • Like us on Facebook
    • Follow us on Instagram @inthecove
    • Tweet us on Twitter @InTheCoveITC
    • Pin us on Pinterest inthecoveITC
    • Tell your friends about ITC (they will thank you!!). Remember to tell them that ITC is a website and they do not have to have access to any Social Media to enjoy ITC – we often speak to people who tell us they want to follow ITC but don’t have Facebook or Instagram account (you don’t need them)