Supermoon lunar eclipse: What is it and when will it be visible?

The rare 'supermoon' event last occured in 1982. Credit: Nasa

Stargazers will be treated to a rare event in the early hours of Monday when a giant rusty red "supermoon" appears when the moon combines with a lunar eclipse.

It will be the first time it has occurred since 1982 and will not be repeated until 2033.

Why will the moon turn red?

  • During a lunar eclipse, a "supermoon" occurs when the moon is at its closet point to the earth, at 226,000 miles away.

  • It will reflect sunlight being scattered by the Earth's atmosphere.

  • It appears 14% larger and 30% brighter than when it is at its furthermost point.

The moon will turn blood red as it falls into the Earth's shadow. Credit: Nasa

When can the lunar eclipse be seen and how long will it last?

  • From the UK, weather permitting, skywatchers will see the Moon begin to pass through the Earth's shadow from 01:10BST.

  • At 0207 BST, the Moon starts to enter the umbra, the dark core of the shadow

  • It will completely be within the shadow from 03:11 to 04:24. It will end when the Moon leaves at 6:24am.

Clear skies tonight should give us a clear view of the supermoon. Credit: Met Office

Where are the best places to watch it?

  • From your window, if you're lucky enough you may have a prime vantage point.

  • Unlike the solar eclipse, it is safe to watch and no special equipment is needed, the Royal Astronomical Society advises.

  • US space agency Nasa plans to stream the eclipse live from Marshall Space Flight Centre in Huntsville, Alabama.

A Nasa satellite will send back pictures of the celestial event. Credit: Nasa

Supermoon and lunar eclipse facts

  • The last time a total lunar eclipse was visible in the UK was 2008. It will be the last total lunar eclipse visible from the UK until 2019.

  • For some religious groups and astrology fans, "blood moons" are a sign that the End of Days is approaching.

  • Monday's eclipse marks the completion of an unusual line-up of four total eclipses at six monthly intervals known as a "tetrad". The previous three occurred on April 15 2014, October 8 2014, and April 4 2015, but were not visible from the UK.

Are you planning to stay up to watch the "Supermoon"? You can share your pictures and videos with us by emailing them to or tweeting @itvnews