Did you see the eclipse?

Busy week for stargazers

Last updated 15:59 05/06/2012
Lunar eclipse
Maurice Collins

A partial lunar eclipse was visible across much of the country last night

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While eyes will tomorrow be looking at the Transit of Venus across the sun, last night it was the moon which held the attention of stargazers.

A partial lunar eclipse was visible across much of the country, though cloud obscured views for some.

The eclipse started about 9pm and finished about 1am this morning. About one third of the Moon was covered by the the complete shadow of the Earth, known as the umbra.

Tomorrow's Transit of Venus will be visible for most of the day as a small black dot moving across the sun. However because of the risk of eye damage from looking at the Sun Palmerston North Astronomical Society information officer Noel Munford said the safest way to observe the phenomena was online.

"You're not understating to say its extremely dangerous,'' he said "I would feel much happier pointing people in the direction of a live webcast.''

Sunglasses were not strong enough to protect people he said, people should use welding masks or purpose made glasses for sun watching.

However tomorrow's forecast of rain and cloud could hamper sun watching opportunities.

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- Manawatu Standard

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