Almost 50 years to the hour that Apollo 11 astronauts lifted off on their history-making voyage, people were once again looking towards the moon, this time for a lunar eclipse.
Early-morning risers in Canberra were on Wednesday treated to a lunar spectacle for about an hour, with the eclipse starting just after 6am.
Australian National University astronomy professor Dr Brad Tucker said viewing conditions for the eclipse were perfect among much of the east coast of Australia, with multiple reports of a meteor shooting across the night sky during the eclipse.
"With a lunar eclipse, essentially the sun, earth and moon are in a nice alignment, and as the sun lights up the earth, the moon goes into the shadow," Dr Tucker said.
"The shadow of the earth goes over 350,000 kilometres into space, and as moon goes into the shadow, the more dark it gets."
Wednesday morning's eclipse was only a partial lunar eclipse in Australia, with the full eclipse experienced in parts of Asia and northern Africa.
While sky watchers in Canberra and the eastern parts of Australia were able to see the eclipse for around an hour, those in Western Australia were able to see the event for longer.
Dr Tucker said while there had been three lunar eclipses in the past two years, it would be a while until those in Australia would be treated to the next one.
"We don't have another one until May 2021, so we will have to wait almost two years for that," he said.
The astronomy professor said there wasn't a set pattern for the timing of lunar eclipses, due to the timing of the moon's rotation.
"If you imagine the moon spinning around the Earth, it starts to wobble like a spinning top, and sometimes it wobbles and gets into sync for the alignment and sometimes it gets out of sync," Dr Tucker said.
As interest grows in all things lunar due to the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 landing on the moon, Dr Tucker said the timing of Wednesday's eclipse was perfect.
"That the eclipse started just six hours after 50 years ago exactly that Apollo 11 launched to the moon, that's a cool thing," he said.
"Even in this world and the way the complex nature of the Earth, moon and sun physically interact, it's nice timing to celebrate and mark the beginning of all things moon celebration.
"There were so many people staring at the moon this morning and 50 years ago we had people staring at the moon, and if you think about it, it's pretty mind blowing."