Blood Moon set to bring lunar spectacle
A total lunar eclipse is set to take place in the early hours of Monday morning, garnishing a reddish colour to the lunar surface.
Astronomers and skygazers are particularly interested in this year’s blood moon, as it is the last of its kind for two years.
“We’re going into this unusual lull in total lunar eclipses over the next couple of years,” explained Tom Kerss, an astronomer from the Royal Observatory Greenwich.
“So this is a really good one to catch as it’s going to be a long time before you catch another one like this – we will have other lunar eclipses, we just won’t have anything quite as spectacular until May 2021.”
Weather permitting, the total lunar eclipse should be visible from the UK for a reasonable amount of time.
The eclipse is set to begin at 2.36am on Monday January 21, though observers are unlikely to see anything until much later in the morning.
The best time is around 5.12am to catch the maximum eclipse, when the moon will be completely submerged within the Earth’s shadow.
“The moon will be red between about 4.40am and about 6.45am, so it’s actually more than an hour that you have to observe this blood moon phenomenon where the moon is totally eclipsed,” Mr Kerss said.
The Royal Museums Greenwich will also host a Facebook Live event from 4am, where viewers can watch as events unfold.
A blood moon last occurred in July 2018, though clouds largely obscured the celestial phenomenon in the UK.