Hottest of this year’s astronomical events to light UK skies

Image copyright NASA Image caption The next total lunar eclipse will be on 4 April A new total lunar eclipse will be visible from the UK on Sunday, but it won’t be the only…

Hottest of this year's astronomical events to light UK skies

Image copyright NASA Image caption The next total lunar eclipse will be on 4 April

A new total lunar eclipse will be visible from the UK on Sunday, but it won’t be the only one until April.

A partial lunar eclipse will be visible on Sunday at about 14:50 GMT, when the moon appears to pass in front of the sun.

But don’t get too excited, the result won’t be a total lunar eclipse.

The event won’t be visible from most of Europe, Africa, South America, or even Asia.

This will be the longest “blood moon” eclipse of the 21st century, lasting for three hours and 45 minutes.

Image copyright NASA Image caption The moon will appear red, or reddish, in the sky

The sun, Earth and moon form a triangle in the sky, with the moon in the centre.

The moon appears to pass in front of the sun when the Earth blocks its light rays and the sun’s light does not reach the moon but the Earth.

“The moon appears dark red in the sky because the earth’s shadow acts like a tinderbox and sends out red light during a lunar eclipse,” explains NASA.

Image copyright NASA Image caption The moon will still be recognisable even when it’s obscured by the earth’s shadow

The moon will pass through the Earth’s shadow first, around 20:50 GMT. Then, slowly, it will slip out of the Earth’s shadow as the time progresses.

The total eclipse will happen between 20:41 and 21:40 GMT.

According to ScienceAlert, that is when you might be able to spot the moon moving out of the Earth’s shadow.

Image copyright NASA Image caption A partial lunar eclipse will be visible on Sunday at about 14:50 GMT

The moon will still be recognisable even as it is obscured, so the eclipse will be visible in Alaska, Australia, New Zealand, the US west coast, and Hawaii.

For the duration of the eclipse, you can read the Eclipse Information Site and Pinpoint Your Viewer.

Get information

For more information about the upcoming eclipse, visit the NASA’s Visible Solar Eclipse website, or the American Museum of Natural History’s Apollo 11 website, dedicated to the first men to walk on the moon.

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