The phases of the 'blood moon' lunar eclipse earlier this year
The phases of the 'blood moon' lunar eclipse earlier this year Diane Essery

Lunar eclipse to wow astronomers tonight

ASTRONOMY enthusiasts across the nation will get the opportunity to witness a total lunar eclipse on Wednesday evening with the lining up of three celestial bodies the sun, the moon and the earth.

To get the best view sky watchers should look to the north-eastern sky from around 8pm (AEDT).

As the eclipse begins at 8.15pm, the earth's circular shadow will creep across the face of the moon, which will look as though a great bite has been taken from it.

The earth's shadow will fully cover the moon from 9.25pm.

At the eclipse's totality all the red sunsets and sunrises around the earth will project their red light onto the moon.

The moon will peek back into sunlight at 10.25pm and move out of the earth's shadow over the next 70 minutes.

Sydney Observatory's Astronomy curator Dr Andrew Jacob said lunar eclipses are safe and enjoyable to view with the naked eye, binoculars or telescopes.

He said depending on the amount of dust, smoke and clouds in the earth's atmosphere, the colour and brightness of totality can change to yellow, orange, or brown.

The next two eclipses will occur on April 4 and September 28, 2015