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A blood moon
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How to see the blood moon lunar eclipse this week

The next total lunar eclipse won’t take place until 2025

Written by
Faima Bakar

There’s nothing quite like the sight of a luminous moon at night. This year, we’ve been treated to a fair share of exciting lunar events, including the partial solar eclipse last month and the extra-impressive supermoon back in August.

And this week, we can look forward to yet another spectacle to marvel at in the night sky. On November 8 you can expect to see what is commonly referred to as the blood moon, which is a total lunar eclipse when the moon appears with a slightly red tinge.

If you fancy a glimpse at this particular lunar eclipse, here’s what you need to know about the 2022 blood moon.

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When is the lunar eclipse in the UK?

A lunar eclipse occurs when the earth lies directly between the sun and the moon, and the moon sits in the shadow of the earth. The previous total lunar eclipse took place on May 16, 2022 and the next one is to take place on November 8, 2022 (which is this Tuesday).

What time will the lunar eclipse happen?

The eclipse will begin on Tuesday 3.02 a.m EST, which is which is 8.02 am in the UK. At that point, the moon will begin to enter the outermost region of Earth’s shadow.

How can I see it?

The eclipse can be seen from the USA, Canada, South America, Australia and much of Asia. Some of the eclipse can be viewed from northern Scandinavia and parts of eastern Europe.

Sadly, this eclipse will not be visible in the UK, but some organisations will be offering a live stream of the event, including the Lowell Observatory in Arizona and the Virtual Telescope Project

What is a blood moon and why is it called that?

People sometimes refer to a lunar eclipse as a blood moon because of the way the moon can turn a deep, coppery red colour during its eclipse.

The red colour is thought to be caused by ‘Rayleigh’ scattering of sunlight through the Earth’s atmosphere, which blocks out blue light waves but allows the longer wave lengths of red light to still come through. This is the same effect that causes sunsets to appear red.

How often do blood moons occur?

The term ‘blood moon’ is also used to refer to four total lunar eclipses that happen in the span of two years, a phenomenon astronomers call a lunar tetrad. The eclipses in a tetrad occur about six months apart with five uneclipsed full moons between them. Around one in three lunar eclipses are total, and about four to five total eclipses in a decade can be seen from any single location on Earth. 

When is the next total lunar eclipse in the UK?

According to NASA, there won’t be another total lunar eclipse for some time now, especially one that is visible to the UK. The next total lunar eclipse will take place on March 24, 2025, and it will only be visible to parts of the Americas, Western Europe and West Africa. Sad times for the UK.

ICYMI: is expected to close – and Twitter has gone into full grief mode.

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