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Get ready for the shortest lunar eclipse of the century

A total lunar eclipse will be visible from across all Australia this Saturday, 4 April, but you will have to be quick to see it. 

As astronomer Tanya Hill notes, the Moon will not pass deep into the Earth’s shadow as it usually does, but skim close to the shadow’s edge. 

The period of totality, when the moon is fully enclosed in the Earth’s umbral shadow, will last just five minutes or so. This makes it the shortest total lunar eclipse of the 21st century.
In fact, this eclipse has the shortest period of totality for almost 500 years. Back in 1529, on October 17, there was an eclipse where totality lasted for just 1 minute and 42 seconds.

The Conversation website has details on where best to view the eclipse.

Bill Condie

Bill Condie is a science journalist based in Adelaide, Australia.

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