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Don’t miss Monday’s lunar eclipse – you won’t be able to see it again until 2028

PUBLISHED: 05:30 19 January 2019

A lunar eclipse is due to take place on Monday, January 21. Picture: DAVID MURTON/DARSHAM ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY

A lunar eclipse is due to take place on Monday, January 21. Picture: DAVID MURTON/DARSHAM ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY

DAVID MURTON/DARSHAM ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY

A total lunar eclipse is set to unfold in the early hours of Monday morning, but will the skies stay clear enough for us to see it?

Keen stargazers will need to set their alarms for just after 3am on monday morning to see the eclipse, which is also known as a blood moond.

The moon is set to appear a piercing red colour and we won’t see one like it again until 2028.

In order to catch a glimpse of the eclipse the skies will need to be clear with little or no clouds.

Phil Garner, a weather forecaster from Weatherquest, said he is optimistic about the possibility of us being able to see the spectacular.

He said: “Sunday night will start off clear but it is currently looking that from 3am onwards clouds will be coming in from the north west.

“It will be a starry start to the night and I am fairly optimistic that we will be able to see the moon through the band of clouds.

“This is looking a few days ahead so we will be able to have a more accurate weather forecast over the weekend.”

David Murton, from the Darsham Astronomical Society, said: “The visible eclipse will start at 3.33am with the earth’s shadow starting to take a bite out of the full moon.

“This bite will slowly increase until 4.41am when totality starts. By this time the full moon will have become considerably dimmer, however, unlike a solar eclipse it won’t go completely dark as the earth’s atmosphere will bend some of the sunlight, so that it continues to illuminate the moon.

“However, refraction of the light and dust in our atmosphere will colour this light and the moon can turn a deep coppery red colour. Lunar eclipses last considerably longer than solar ones and the period of totality will last until 5.43am giving us an hour of observation.

“The shadow will then retreat across the face until 6.50am when it’s all over, however by then dawn will be breaking and the moon will be quite low in the sky so you will be lucky to see the end.”

Read our previous story to find out all you need to know about January’s lunar eclipse.


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