Watching the Blood Moon with the Kids!

Watching the Blood Moon with the Kids!.jpg

I've been trying to get the kids interested in some space stuff ever since they have been little... but in Europe, it was always quite tricky to get out to see stuff, there was always too much light, especially in the Netherlands with the compactness of the cities and towns, and the lights from the agricultural greenhouses at night would have a glow all through the night. Plus, there were often just too much cloudiness or rain to make it worthwhile. Not that it stopped me from trying anyway... with camping out in our backyard and waking everyone up in the middle of the night to try and see the meteor showers!

Now that we are in Australia, we are so close to a large nature reserve with a dark hilltop... and if we just drive a half hour out, we are completely in the country and darkness! Even just in our driveway, we have the ability to see quite clearly as there is barely any streetlights in our little corner of the city!

So, it was with great excitement that I had seen that a lunar eclipse was happening earlier this week! Otherwise known as a Blood Moon, it is the event when the Earth's shadow (lit from the Sun) falls on the Moon! And to make things even better, this was going to happen around 2115 in our area! That is the perfect time for kids! Mot in the middle of the night, and just with enough time after dinner to have everything ready for bed immediately after!

Watching the Blood Moon with the Kids!.jpg

Even better, we could see the moon from our driveway, and we didn't even need to go up onto the hilltop! So, we set up a couple of deck chairs, and when the actual event happened, we ended up standing on the giant piles of mulch... whilst the occasional driver passing by probably was wondering why a family of four was standing in their pyjamas on a big woodpile looking at the sky!

Watching the Blood Moon with the Kids!.jpg

Of course, night stargazing events are more fun with snacks... and I made sure to have some popcorn heated, and later some hot chocolates for drinking as well. The entire event took a bit over a couple of hours, so we had time to do a few things like skipping rope and hula-hooping as well. Well, the girls did that... I tried to keep an eye on the moon!

Watching the Blood Moon with the Kids!.jpg

Unfortunately, I don't have a great camera phone... so the actual shots weren't that good... but I'm more of a looking and experiencing sort of guy rather than a photo taking guy anyway. So, a few hurried snaps, and then down to the serious business of looking at the sky like a lunatic (haha...).

This is the first snap near where the shadow was starting to eat into the moon's disc. We had the threat of clouds... but thankfully, they managed to be blown clear when the main even arrived!

Watching the Blood Moon with the Kids!.jpg

.... a bit more of the moon gone... and my phone camera really struggling to capture it!

Watching the Blood Moon with the Kids!.jpg

And a bit more from a further zoom. Pity I have such a poop camera on my phone! But I think most of them would have struggled. I probably should have learnt how to play around with the manual settings before going out into the night. Or more usefully, I probably should have taken out the camera camera! Sigh...

Anyway, it was a great evening of sharing the experience with the kids... and so happy that we got clear sky for it as well. My oldest was scared that it would be covered, and that we would have a disappointment like the shooting stars camp-out!

... so, checking to see what is next on the list of interesting things to stare at! Probably shooting stars is always going to be a fun one... but that would mean for a really middle of the night sort of excursion!

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When children were young we laid on a blanket in the garden watching proceedings, lighting pollution in suburbs has become a big problem over the years.

Still fun for the young to learn the night skies, app's available now to show you which stars you are looking at another plus.

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Yes, I've been showing the kids Star Walk 2... which has the ability to show you everything up there! Which is handy, as I can't remember any of it!

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Night sky takes time to familiarize oneself with, identify what you looking at then explore from same area each night, moves constantly, children used to get super excited being able to recognize some at a glance.

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It's always fun looking at the sky for a spectacular show by nature not so! I share your frustration with not being able to zoom in enough to capture that gorgeous moon, I'm sure the kids must have enjoyed it @bengy 😊

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Ah well, better to experience it in real life than to try and capture a photo!

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Glad you had a good view :D It was irritatingly very overcast here when it was happening so we only managed to catch the tail end of it as it was going back to white and the eclipse was clearing.

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Oh no! That is always so frustrating! We really thought that we were going to miss it as well... but a sudden gust pushed the clouds out of the way!

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