Eclipse 2018: Can you look at lunar eclipse – Will a Blood Moon blind you? | Science | News

The will make an appearance in the evening hours of Friday, July 27, when the Moon enters the Earth’s darkest shadow on the planet’s nightside.

The lunar spectacle is the culmination of heavenly movements which position the Sun, the Earth and the Moon in a straight line on their orbital paths.

Sunlight directly blocked by the Earth will cast a strong shadow across the face of the Moon, much like the Moon directly blocks sunlight when passing in front of the Earth during a solar eclipse.

Astronomers strongly advise not to peak at solar eclipses without special equipment due to the Sun’s harmful UV radiation.

But will a Blood Moon blind you?

The good news for stargazers worldwide is the Blood Moon is a perfectly safe “naked eye” event which will not blind you.

Solar  are dangerous to look at without special equipment because the white corona of light around the Moon is still direct sunlight.

NASA’s experts at the Goddard Space Flight Center said failure to use appropriate eye protection can result in permanent damage and even blindness.

The US space agency said: “Damage to the eyes comes predominantly from invisible infrared wavelengths.

“The fact that the Sun appears dark in a filter or that you feel no discomfort does not guarantee that your eyes are safe. Avoid all unnecessary risks.”

But in contrast, a Blood Moon lunar eclipse is completely safe to look at because the red light reflected by the surface of the Moon is not direct sunlight.

The red face of the Moon is caused by the scattering of sunlight in the atmosphere which filters out all but red and orange colours of light on the visible spectrum.

The effect, known as Rayleigh Scattering, is absolutely harmless and is the same effect which paints the skies blue during the day and orange during a sunset.

Stargazers are also pleased to know watching the Blood Moon tomorrow will take very little effort on their part.

According to Professor Mark Birkinshaw, University of Bristol, the only two things you need tomorrow night is your own two eyes.

The astronomy expert told “The lunar eclipse is a very obvious, naked-eye sight.

“If you have some low powered binoculars you should be able to see the usual lunar features, just in a slightly different set of colours.”

Professor Birkinshaw suggested moon-gazers in the UK seek out unobscured views of the Southeastern horizon where the Blood Moon will rise around 8.50pm BST.

He said: “To look for the Moon you would have to face the direction directly opposite the sun.

“If the sun has been quite high in the sky as it has been in the summer then you would be looking at the Moon fairly low down towards the horizon.

“Reasonably high in the southeastern sky is probably the direction to look”

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