Wednesday 17 January 2018

Lunar eclipse to turn sky blood red

Lynne Kelleher

A blood red sky is expected over Ireland tomorrow morning in the middle of rush hour due to a total eclipse of the moon.

Millions of commuters are expected to do a double take when they see the sky turning red at around 8am.

Just before sunlight spills into Newgrange on the morning on the shortest day of the year, the totally eclipsed Moon will turn a deep red as it sets in the west.

The spectacular vision of the moon disappearing into the earth's shadow will be the last total eclipse Ireland will see for five years.

The chairman of Astronomy Ireland, David Moore, said it will be an extraordinary sight in Irish skies as people set off for work.

He said: "This has scared the living daylights out of people in the past especially if they are not expecting it."

The sight will be visible to millions of people and no viewing equipment will be necessary.

As the moon moves into the earth's shadow in the last eclipse of the decade the moon will slowly disappear in a growing darkness. But just when onlookers expect it to be completely hidden in a dark shadow, it begins to glow red.

The eclipse beings at 6.30am, when a small bite will be taken out of the moon's left edge.

The eclipse will be total from 7.40am until 8.53am by which time the sun will have risen.

"With both the lunar eclipse and solstice on the same day, there is going to be lots to see," said Mr Moore.

Mr Moore said Astronomy Ireland will be holding their annual winter solstice watch in Sean Moore Park, Sandymount, Dublin, tomorrow morning.

But skywatchers will get a double helping of nature's spectacular visions on the winter solstice.

He said: "After watching the lunar eclipse, observers can watch the sun rise, lined up with a modern standing stone alignment in the park.

Irish Independent

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