Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Lunar eclipse 2019: When is the partial lunar eclipse and where is it visible?

A partial lunar eclipse will be visible in the UK tonight. Credit: PA

A partial lunar eclipse is set to be visible across parts of the UK on Tuesday, if clear weather and conditions hold up.

The event is particularly special for stargazers, as the date coincides with the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 launching on its moon mission.

Credit: PA Graphics

When is the lunar eclipse?

The next lunar eclipse falls on Tuesday, July 16 to Wednesday, July 17.

The eclipse happens 50 years to the day since the Apollo 11 mission – the US mission to put men on the moon.

The eclipse can be seen in the UK from moon rise, which starts at approximately 9.07pm BST, at 9.49pm BST in Glasgow and later further north and west – it will be visible until after 1.71am BST.

According to the Royal Astronomical Society, mid-eclipse is expected to take place at 10.30pm, when about 60% of the visible surface of the moon will be covered by the umbra – which can sometimes appear red in colour to people observing from the ground due to a more powerful atmospheric scattering of blue light hitting the surface.

Sorry, this content isn't available on your device.

The moon leaves the darker shadow at midnight, and the eclipse ends when it exits the penumbra 79 minutes later.

The moon will be low throughout the eclipse, so stargazers will need an unobstructed south-eastern and southern horizon.

“You’re looking for anywhere that has a low unobstructed horizon, no tall buildings and trees in the way,” said Dr Morgan Hollis from the Royal Astronomical Society.

“Unlike a solar eclipse it’s entirely safe to watch a lunar eclipse with the naked eye, so this one is fine, you don’t need any special equipment and it should be fairly warm as well, given temperatures recently, it should be good if the weather is clear and the conditions are clear.”

A super blood wolf moon was visible in the UK in January. Credit: PA

What is a lunar eclipse?

A lunar eclipse happens when the Earth, sun and moon are exactly in line and the moon is on the opposite side of the Earth from the Sun.

The moon is full, moves into the shadow of the Earth and dims dramatically but usually remains visible, lit by sunlight that passes through the Earth’s atmosphere.

The surface of the moon can sometimes appear red in colour to people observing from the ground, due to a more powerful atmospheric scattering of blue light hitting the surface, or sometimes dark grey, depending on terrestrial conditions.

“You’re looking for anywhere that has a low unobstructed horizon, no tall buildings and trees in the way,” said Dr Morgan Hollis from the Royal Astronomical Society.

“Unlike a solar eclipse it’s entirely safe to watch a lunar eclipse with the naked eye, so this one is fine, you don’t need any special equipment and it should be fairly warm as well, given temperatures recently, it should be good if the weather is clear and the conditions are clear.”

A blood red supermoon in the skies above London. Credit: PA

Where will the lunar eclipse be visible?

The eclipse is not only visible in the UK, the event will also take place over much of Asia, Africa, eastern parts of South America, and the western parts of Australia, but North America misses out on the eclipse entirely.

When is the next eclipse?

The next total lunar eclipse is not until May 26 2021 and the next partial lunar eclipse is 18-19 November 2021.

All four lunar eclipse in 2020 will be penumbral, which are much more difficult to observe, then either a partial or total eclipse.

How to livestream the lunar eclipse

The Royal Greenwich Observatory will be live-streaming the partial lunar eclipse on Facebook from 10pm on July 16 here.