Total lunar eclipse and blood moon to light up the sky - for the last time for two years

Astronomers are particularly interested in this year’s blood moon, as it’s the last of its kind for two years (Picture: PA)

A lunar eclipse and blood moon will light up the sky – for the last time for two years.

The total lunar eclipse is set to take place in the early hours of Monday morning, along with a red hue on the moon’s surface.

And this year’s blood moon is of particular interest to astronomers and skygazers 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,” said 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.”

The eclipse is set to start at 2.36am on Monday January 21, though people are unlikely to see anything until 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.

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Depending on the weather, the eclipse should be visible from the UK for a reasonable amount of time.

“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 added.

Lull – there will now be a lull in lunar eclipses until May 2021 (Picture: PA)

The Royal Museums Greenwich will also host a Facebook Live event from 4am, where viewers can watch as events unfold.

A blood moon last happened in July 2018, though viewers in the UK struggled to see it due to clouds obscuring the celestial phenomenon.