Red skies: 'Blood moon' and bright Mars on the rise

Adjust Comment Print

Although total lunar eclipses happen relatively often, the one happening on Friday 27 July 2018 is particularly special because it will last for the longest time of any such eclipse in the 21st century.

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. But supermoon eclipses can make the natural satellite appear even darker than it does during other total lunar eclipses.

Sadly, if you live in the Northern Hemisphere, you'll miss the lunar eclipse because it will take place during our daylight hours. He wrote of this in Blood Moons: Decoding the Imminent Heavenly Signs, where he cites Joel 2:31.

Whatever your favored explanation, it's happening this month and it'll last for a whopping 1 hour and 43 minutes.

Along with the Blood Moon, Mars will also be seen shining brighter.

For those lucky enough to have clear skies, moonrise will be at 8.49pm in London, 9.46pm in Glasgow, 9.02pm in Cardiff and 9.27pm in Belfast, with mid-eclipse occurring at 9.21pm and the "total" phase ending at around 10.13pm.

"It was a nice long one, and as twilight came and the sky brightened up, the moon dropped into the clouds".

People looking through a telescope at a "blood moon" eclipse in Oloika town in Magadi, Kenya, on July 27, 2018.

"The reason that the moon turns red is because atmospheric scattering causes red light to pass through the atmosphere and the composition of the atmosphere can change if volcanic eruptions or forest fires occur", said Tom Kerss, an astronomer with the Royal Observatory Greenwich. This is when the moon is completely inside the Earth's shadow and is the most spectacular part of the lunar eclipse.

Astronaut Alexander Gerst tweeted: "A partially eclipsed Moon, with our neighbouring planet in the background, just before diving into Earth's atmosphere". A period of complete eclipse, known as "totality", will last from 3:30 5:13 p.m. ET.

The best views - weather permitting - could be across Eastern Europe, Central and East Africa and South East Asia, from where the entire eclipse will be visible.

Chandra Grahan or Lunar Eclipse 2018 tonight LIVE UPDATES: During this rare phenomena, the Moon will turn bright red and it will be visible in India as well.

Although sunlight is blocked out, some is refracted around the Earth and falls onto the moon's surface.

The eclipse will not be visible to residents of the USA as by the time the moon rises at night in the U.S., it will have already completed its journey through Earth's shadow, or Umbra.

While lunar eclipses are treated with curiosity and wonder today, it wasn't always so. "This does not herald the apocalypse: seeing a lunar eclipse and Mars in the sky is something people should enjoy rather than worry about mediaeval superstitions".