Eclipse 2018: When is the next total lunar eclipse in the UK – Blood Moon date | Science | News

The eclipse will peak over the southern horizon on the night of Friday, July 27, in the evening hours.

The total lunar eclipse comes just six months after the January 31 Super Blue Blood Moon which unfortunately was not visible from the UK.

But the imminent Blood Moon promises to be a spectacular event – the longest Blood Moon eclipse of the 21st century at one hour and 43 minutes.

And as a bonus, the next Blood Moon eclipse is less than six months away.

When is the next total lunar eclipse over the UK?

The moon will next pass through the centre of the Earth’s darkest shadow on the night of January 20 to January 21, 2019.

The total phase of this lunar will pass over North and South America, including western parts of Europe and Africa in the nightside of Earth.

Outlying areas such as Central and Eastern Africa, the rest of Europe and parts of Asia will only get to see a partial eclipse of the moon.

This means the UK and the northernmost parts of France, Portugal, Finland, and Norway will the see totality in full glory.

In the UK, the 2019 Blood Moon will start in the early morning at 2.36am BST, over London.

Partial eclipsing will then start to darken the moon at 3.33am BST and totality will kick in by 4.41am BST.

By around 5.12am BST the moon will reach maximum eclipse and should glow with an ominous red colour.

The eclipse will then begin to wrap up by 5.43am BST and will return to its natural glow by 7.48am.

In total, the January full moon will take five hours and 12 minutes to traverse the Earth’s umbra and penumbra shadows.

Totality itself will only last one hour and two minutes – 41 minutes shorter than then July 27 Blood Moon.

Why do total lunar eclipses not occur more often?

With a full moon forming every month it would not be unreasonable to think the moon will pass through the Earth’s umbra at least once a month.

But the difference in the Earth’s orbit around the sun and the moon’s orbit around the Earth put the three heavily bodies out of sync.

Professor Mark Birkinshaw, Bristol University, told the moon sometimes positions itself below or above the Earth’s stellar plane in relations to the sun.

When the moon does that we see a full moon back on Earth.

But when the two planes perfectly align, the moon will travel directly into the centre of Earth’s shadow

Professor Birkinshaw said: “The tricky bit is that the plane on which the moon orbits the Earth isn’t the same as the plane on which the Earth orbits the sun.

“When you look out for a full moon you normally see a bright moon, but the plane that the moon orbits on moves up and down relative to the plane that the Earth orbits the sun on.

“Sometimes the moon lies below that plane and we see a nice full moon and sometimes it’s above and we see a nice full moon and sometimes it’s in the plane and then it can pass through the Earth’s shadow when it would otherwise be appearing full and that’s when we see a lunar eclipse.”

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