Lunar eclipse: Rare 'blood moon' will be visible in the UK tonight

Once the moon has been fully eclipsed by the earth it will turn red

Thai stargazers will be staying up into the wee hours of Saturday to witness the longest lunar eclipse of the 21st century, as a "super blood moon" dazzles the world. But there's a catch: It'll be visible only in parts of South America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

North America will nearly completely miss out on the blood moon.

In total the lunar eclipse, which will see the earth pass between the sun and moon, should last for 103 minutes and will create a spectacular red glow across the moon.

"It starts with a partial eclipse at 7:24 p.m".

Partial or penumbral eclipse begins at around 11:44 pm IST on Friday and will be visible from all parts of India. The eclipse will continue till 4.58 am, though the effect will not look as great.

And since the planet will also be the closest to Earth as its been in more than a decade, it will appear relatively big and bright in the night sky if you look to the south. "The next total lunar eclipse that will last that long will not occur until 2123", he noted. As a result of this, the moon's colour as seen from the Earth turns dark (or blood) red, hence why it is often referred to as a "blood moon eclipse".

Path of the Moon into Earth's Shadows and the times during the Total Lunar Eclipse on July 28 from Brunei DarussalamLooking about West at around 2am from Brunei Darussalam, the Blood Moon and Mars will put on a stellar show on July 28.

NASA diagram visualizing the process of a total lunar eclipse
NASA diagram visualizing the process of a total lunar eclipseImage NASA

The rising full moon will also change from shining silver to deep blood-red during the eclipse.

Skywatchers around much of the world have begun watching a complete lunar eclipse that is the longest of this century.

"At this time, the moon passes into the shadow of the Earth, blocking the light from the sun". The moon will be below the horizon and out of sight in the United States, Canada, Mexico and other North American countries during the eclipse. Join Miguel here as he takes us through his photograph "Total Lunar Eclipse of 2015".

"During a very dark eclipse the moon may be nearly invisible".

The Astronomical Society of India cautioned against creating a hype around this event in a statement.

When the three celestial bodies are perfectly lined up, however, the Earth's atmosphere scatters blue light from the sun while refracting or bending red light onto the moon, usually giving it a rosy blush. "As a group, it will give us the chance to educate the people on how celestial events happen and hopefully it will encourage people to study and see how astronomy works".

Blood moon is a name given to the moon during a lunar eclipse.

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