Tuesday 21 November 2017

Don't miss the 'Blood Moon' eclipse later this month

A lunar eclipse as seen from Taguig, Metro Manila. Reuters/Erik De Castro
A lunar eclipse as seen from Taguig, Metro Manila. Reuters/Erik De Castro

Irish astronomers will be treated to a beautiful "Blood Moon" eclipse on the morning of September 28.

A Blood Moon is a total lunar eclipse which occurs when the Earth’s shadow completely covers the Moon, with the sun behind us in respect to the Moon.

David Moore, Chairman of Astronomy Ireland, said the eclipse will be seen in Irish skies from 3am until 4.23am.

"It's at 3am in the morning so we're trying to get everyone to take off the next day. There'll be a group of us in Blanchardstown at the head office. Anyone can see it, you don't need any telescope or binoculars."

"The earth's shadow crosses the moon for a full hour

Although it looks like the moon having a bite taking out of it which is getting bigger and bigger, it's the shadow of the earth passing over."

"The eclipse appears as a dull red, coppery colour, and a few other colours mixed in, hence the blood moon moniker. It's quite spectacular."

"You'll only see one every few years. Half the world can see it at one time."

The last luar eclipse occurred in December 2010, while the next one is expected to occur in three years time.

Astronomy Ireland is encouraging all nightsky watchers to email their photos into the organisation.

"The great thing about the eclipse is it lasts a long time, it'll be from about 3.11am until 4.23am."

"The chance of it being totally cloudy for an hour and 12 minutes is totally rare."

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