Tim O’Brien, Professor of astrophysics at The University of Manchester, explains why the lunar eclipse coming up is so special.
“There are several lunar eclipses every year, where the earth’s shadow is cast on to the moon making it appear to turn red. This happens because the light is reflected back from the Sun and because that light has passed through the earth’s atmosphere all the blue light waves have been filtered out. It will be a very pretty thing to look at.
“Every year there are two or three of these. They are easier to see than solar eclipse because they are visible from more places on Earth. But what is so special about this event is that the eclipse coincides with a time when the moon will be at its closest point to the earth, a so called ‘Supermoon eclipse’, with the moon looking a lot larger than normal in the sky. There have only been five of these since the 1900s and the next one won’t be until 2033, so catch this one if you can. From the UK we will get a great view this time.
“It will be quite a beautiful thing to see because the moon will gradually turn red and then back to white. It will start very early on Monday morning at about 2am till 5.30am. The peak will be at about 3.50am. It’s not the most convenient time but the Universe is not always as considerate as you might like when it comes to these spectacular displays.”
There have only been five of these since the 1900s and the next one won’t be until 2033, so catch this one if you can. From the UK we will get a great view this time.