Northern Ireland news

Blood Moon: When and where you can see it

The Moon is going to turn blood red in what is expected to be the longest lunar eclipse of the 21st century.

The longest lunar eclipse this century will be visible in Ireland late on Friday, astronomers have said.

The 'blood moon' will see the moon appear reddish-orange in colour.

The eclipse happens when the sun, earth and moon line up exactly in a straight line. During the moon's orbit, it will pass into the shadow of the earth.

However, the Irish Astronomical Association has warned that we won't see all of the eclipse because the moon will already be in shadow as it rises above the horizon from Ireland.

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The maximum of the eclipse will happen at 9.21pm on Friday, but the upper edge of the moon won't rise above Belfast until 9.27pm.

The association has advised moon-gazers to get as clear a view to the south-east as possible.

It will hold two public viewing events in Northern Ireland, starting at 9.15pm on Friday.

The events will be held at Knockagh War Memorial on the hill overlooking Greenisland, Co Antrim, and at the car park on Scrabo Hill, near Newtownards.

The association will provide a selection of telescopes and binoculars and advice on how to photograph the moon. Astronomers will also point out Mars, which will be at its closest to Earth since 2003.

They said the International Space Station will also pass overhead just after 11pm on Friday.

For more information see www.irishastro.org

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