‘Blood moon’: How to watch longest total lunar eclipse of the century

Rob Waugh
How to view the longest total lunar eclipse so far this century tomorrow (Getty)

Watch the skies tomorrow night – as the moon turns a deep blood red in a rare celestial display which will last more than an hour.

The total eclipse will last 1 hour, 42 minutes and 57 seconds, with a partial eclipse before and after.

The moon will spend a total of 3 hours and 54 minutes in the earth’s umbral shadow, according to NASA.

It will be visible from the time the moon appears around 9pm in the UK.

The eclipse will be visible from Europe, Africa and the Middle East between sunset and midnight on July 27.

Here’s how to see it PA
Friday night will see the longest total lunar eclipse so far this century. Photo: File/Getty Images)

A total lunar eclipse happens when the moon, Sun and Earth line up, with the moon in Earth’s shadow.

The ‘blood moon’ effect is created due to light passing through Earth’s atmosphere, which scatters blue light, meaning the moon turns a reddish colour.


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Andrew Fabian, professor of astronomy at the University of Cambridge says, ‘It’s called a blood moon because the light from the sun goes through the earth’s atmosphere on its way to the moon and the earth’s atmosphere turns it red in the same way that when the sun goes down it goes red.’

What is a blood moon? PA

It’s going to be a rare celestial event.

Fabian says, ‘If you were standing on the moon in this eclipse, you would see the sun and then the earth would come in the way and blot out the sun.

‘The rim of the earth would be glowing because light is being scattered by the earth’s atmosphere.’

Sky-watchers will also be able to see Mars burning brightly in the sky, looking like an orange-red star.

The total lunar eclipse will be the longest one so far this century, with the next eclipse of a similar length only due in 2123.