Eclipse 2018: Why the moon turns red during a total lunar eclipse | Science | News

The celestial event tonight will be the 17th total lunar eclipse of the century,

The Moon is set to be partially visible in the UK from 8.50pm. 

The Earth will pass between the sun and the Moon for an one and 43 minutes. 

However, rain clouds and thunderstorms could totally block the moon from the naked eye. 

Mars is also set to be at its closest point to Earth since 2003 tonight and over the coming days. 

The planet is expected to be as visible as a “bright red star” in the areas where the skies are clear. 

What is the Blood Moon?

A Blood Moon occurs during a lunar eclipse and will be visible from almost all parts of the world.

The only areas that won’t be able to catch a glimpse will be Greenland, Canada and the USA. 

A total lunar eclipse occurs when the sun, Earth and the Moon line up perfectly.  

When the Moon is fully in the Earth’s shadow, it turns red which is where the nickname Blood Moon comes from. 

The moon will also be as far away as it gets from the Earth on its elliptical orbit tonight, so it will seem smaller in the sky. 

Why does the moon turn red? 

The Moon turns red because sunlight is deflected through the Earth’s atmosphere.

This is called reaction and it bends red light from the sun like a lens into the space behind Earth.

This then goes onto the surface of the eclipsed moon. 

There is set to be 230 lunar eclipses in the 21st century, according to NASA.

However, only 85 of these all total lunar eclipses.

The next will occur on January 21, 2019. 

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