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Total lunar eclipse

19 January 2019   (0 Comments)
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Early on Monday 21 January UK will see a total lunar eclipse, also known as a ‘Blood Moon’.

The total lunar eclipse will be visible over most of North and South Americas and parts of west and north Europe. The rest of Europe and Africa will see only the end of the eclipse.

Cloud permitting, all of UK will be able to see every part of the eclipse. The Moon will start to enter the Earth’s shadow at ~0230 GMT (UTC); maximum eclipse will occur at ~0515 and it will end at ~0748.

The best time to see the eclipse will be between 0441 and 0543 GMT. This is the period of totality, where the Moon lies entirely in the Earth’s umbra (full shadow) and will appear red. This is due to the fact that all of the illumination from the Sun has to pass through the Earth’s atmosphere and the longer-wavelength red end of the visible spectrum penetrates the atmosphere better than the violet end.

The last total lunar eclipse was on 27 July 2018. There will be a partial eclipse on 16-17 July 2019 and full eclipses on 10 January and 5 June 2020.

Image from NASA - further details from the Royal Observatory