Bruce Thomas

Lunar eclipse a fleeting treat

HUGE crowds at Sawtell Headland were treated to this stunning night sky as the backdrop for Tuesday night’s lunar eclipse.

The moment was however fleeting as clouds rolled in obscuring much of the full moon and the rare event. The eclipse coincidentally also marked the summer solstice, the longest day of the year at 14 hours, 25 minutes and one second.

Officially the beginning of summer, at 10.38am, the summer solstice is when the Southern Hemisphere is pointing directly towards the sun and the Earth’s axis of rotation is at an angle of around 23° to its orbital plane.

However it did not feel overly summery with temperatures hovering around the low to mid twenties, not to mention Tuesday morning, when many awoke to the mercury down to single figures.

Yesterday the sun rose at 5.41am and set at 8.06 pm – and that’s as good as it gets with a second or two of daylight heading north each day from now on.



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