The world will witness the longest total lunar eclipse today since 2000. Totality, the event where Earth’s shadow completely covers the moon, will last for about an hour and a half. This dramatic event will take place tonight at 10pm G.M.T +1 time and witness the rare vista of the moon changing colours and turning blood red.
Viewers outside of North America will be able to see the lunar eclipse, while us Europeans will miss the early stages of the event.
What is a lunar eclipse?
A lunar eclipse occurs when Earth lines up directly between the sun and the moon, blocking the sun’s rays and casting a shadow on the moon. As the moon moves deeper and deeper into Earth’s shadow, the moon changes colour before your very eyes, turning from gray to an orange or deep shade of red.
Why does the moon turn blood red?
The moon takes on this new colour because indirect sunlight is still able to pass through Earth’s atmosphere and cast a glow on the moon. Our atmosphere filters out most of the blue coloured light, leaving the red and orange hues that we see during a lunar eclipse. Extra particles in the atmosphere, from say a recent volcanic eruption, will cause the moon to appear a darker shade of red.
Can the lunar eclipse be seen directly with naked eyes?
Unlike solar eclipses, lunar eclipses are perfectly safe to view without any special glasses or equipment.