Wed, 16 Jun 2021

SYDNEY, May 11 (Xinhua) -- People in Australia's largest city of Sydney will be literally "over the moon" at several astronomy events to be held on May 26.

The city's selenophiles (refers to those who love the moon) who peer into the night skies from about 6:30 p.m. local time will see the moon gradually go dimmer and turn red. By about 9:30 p.m., it will be blood-red.

The "supermoon" is part of a phenomenon to do with a total lunar eclipse which is when light refracted onto the moon by the Earth's atmosphere transforms the moon's color into a deep red.

To celebrate the heavenly spectacle, the nation's national airline Qantas will offer a three-hour return flight from Sydney which will cruise at about 12,000 meters to ensure passengers have views unobstructed by clouds.

Onboard the Boeing 787 Dreamliner will be astronomer Vanessa Moss, who will act as the tour guide as well as work with the pilots to design the best flight path.

"We are very excited to now be doing a supermoon scenic flight and the 787 has the largest windows of any passenger aircraft so it's ideal for moon gazing," said Qantas Chief Customer Officer Stephanie Tully.

"We think this flight has great appeal for anyone with a passion for astronomy, science, space photography, aviation or just keen to do something a little 'out of this world'."

Meanwhile, for those wishing to get a good view of the phenomenon without taking flight, the Sydney Observatory will run its Southern Sky Livestream videoconference on the night.

Astrophysicists Sarah Reeves, Andrew Jacob and Karlie Noon will give a live commentary as they observe the red supermoon from the observatory's telescopes.

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