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Total eclipse tonight

Shayal Devi
Tuesday, April 15, 2014

FIJIANS and other Pacific islanders can witness a total lunar eclipse tonight starting at sunset around 6pm.

"Under normal circumstances, we would expect a bright full moon to rise in the east at moonrise, which is at 5.08pm tomorrow (today). However, the moon will appear darker than expected as the moon will already be partially eclipsed," said a statement from independent weather forecaster Na Draki.

"Once the sun sets at 5.58pm, the eclipse will be quite spectacular with almost half of the moon already in the Earth's shadow, known as a partial eclipse."

The statement said more of the moon would disappear into the shadow of the Earth until total eclipse commences around 7.07pm, by which time it will be totally dark.

"The total eclipse will last about an hour and 26 minutes with the mid-eclipse at 7.47pm.

"Unlike solar eclipses, people can view a lunar eclipse without the need for any eye protection."

As an added bonus, Mars is currently in opposition and this means it is particularly close to the Earth and very bright in the sky.

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