On Friday there will be a rare event,
Where the moon goes dark and light is bent!
Head outside to for this wondrous sight,
That will be in the sky all of the night.
This Friday 27th July, get ready to see a beautiful celestial sight. A total lunar eclipse will be visible from almost all corners of the globe. From the UK, as soon as the moon rises at 8:50pm the eclipse will already be in its total phase. The moon will also be a dark red colour as it rises in the sky. Not only this, but this eclipse will also be the longest of the century, lasting 1 hour 43 minutes and 35 seconds.
Why does the moon turn red?
A total lunar eclipse happens when the sun, Earth and moon line up perfectly. The red colour happens because sunlight is deflected through Earth’s atmosphere. It is called refraction; red light from the sun is bent like a lens into the space behind Earth, and so on to the surface of the eclipsed moon. The clearer Earth’s atmosphere is, the brighter and lighter the red colour looks. This phenomenon has earned the nickname ‘Blood Moon.’
How many lunar eclipses will there be this century?
According to Nasa, there will be 230 lunar eclipses in the 21st century. However, only 85 of these will be total lunar eclipses. Friday’s eclipse is the longest of the century and will be the 17th lunar eclipse of the century. The next will occur on 21 January 2019.
How do I see the eclipse?
All you need is a clear view of the night sky. Your eyes are the best instrument to soak up the sight, but if you have a pair of binoculars to hand you can use them to look at the craters of the moon! You don’t need to wear special filters or protective glasses to view a lunar eclipse. The moon never gets bright enough to cause a danger to your eyes so, unlike a total solar eclipse, it isn’t dangerous to look at the sun. So, pull up a chair in the garden, invite some friends round, and watch the sight unfold.
What have you been up to? We’d really love to know! Someone else might love it, and really want to go! If you’ve got ideas, suggestions or reviews, you can shout all about it on whatever channel you choose!