This week, the lunar eclipse coincides with the full Moon, will be the longest in more than a half-millennium.
An eclipse of the Beaver Moon will begin at 7.18am on 19 November and last just over 6 hours. Due to the Sun’s arrival shortly after the eclipse begins, observers in the UK will not witness the peak of the eclipse, which begins at 9.02am and lasts for 3 hours and 28 minutes.
As the Full Moon – known as the Beaver Moon because it traditionally coincides with Native American tribes setting their beaver traps – peaks at 8.57 am GMT on Friday but will appear full on both Thursday and Friday night.
North and South America and parts of East Asia will have the best views of the lunar eclipse.
There was a partial lunar eclipse on 26 May of 2021, which occurred less than six months ago. 97.4 percent of the Moon’s diameter is covered by the Earth’s shadow during this week’s lunar eclipse.
The southernmost edge will be unaffected by the shadow.
A process known as Rayleigh Scattering will cause the Moon to appear slightly red during the lunar eclipse.
As a result of the same phenomenon that makes our sky blue and our sunsets red, the Moon becomes red during a lunar eclipse, Nasa explains on its website.
Different wavelengths of light have different physical properties. For example, blue light has a shorter wavelength and is scattered more easily by particles in Earth’s atmosphere than red light, which has a longer wavelength.”
Total lunar eclipse: Once in a red moon
The US space agency continues: “Red light, on the other hand, travels more directly through the atmosphere. When the Sun is overhead, we see blue light throughout the sky. But when the Sun is setting, sunlight must pass through more atmosphere and travel farther before it reaches our eyes.”
In a lunar eclipse, the Moon apperes red since the only sunlight reaching the Moon travels through Earth’s atmosphere. The thicker dust or clouds in Earth’s atmosphere, the redder the Moon will appear.”
This is why lunar eclipses are commanly referred to as “blood moons.”.
There will be mostly clear skies across the UK on Thursday and Friday night, according to the Met Office, although parts of the north and west will be shrouded in cloud.