A lunar eclipse will cast the Moon a rusty red colour tonight, in a phenomenon known as the ‘blood Moon’. The process has been hugely fascinating for astronomers, as it displays a set of unique interactions in space between the Moon, Earth and Sun. For others, the incoming event is a sign of the apocalypse mentioned in the bible, and met with fear. The European Space Agency (ESA) has provided the best advice for those wanting to view the phenomenon from Europe.
Europe’s NASA equivalent, the European Space Agency has been monitoring the Moon as it tracks through its orbit in space.
In a recent blog post, they said: “If you live in Europe (or in western Africa) and want to watch the spectacle on Monday, it is recommended you get up early and allow plenty of time.
“The whole lunar eclipse will last about five hours, and the total eclipse about one hour.
“For the best possible view, choose a site that offers an unobstructed view to the west and northwest.”
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The Royal Observatory in Greenwich has prepared their own advice specific to the UK, for the best times to see the eclipse in its full glory.
They said: “The Moon will start to enter the Earth’s shadow just after 2:30am GMT and the maximum eclipse will occur just before 5:15am.
“The entire eclipse lasts for more than five hours, ending at 7:48am.
“The optimal viewing time to see the eclipse is between 4:41am – 5:43am.
“This is the period of totality, where the moon lies entirely in the Earth’s umbra (full shadow) and will appear red.”
READ MORE: Watch the Blood moon eclipse in the UK
Much the same as Europe, the UK will only see the first glimpses of the eclipse early in the morning, around 2am to 3am.
This means bleary eyed Brits are going to have to endure freezing weather to see the event.
Even those willing to brave the conditions may be out of luck, as the Met Office is forecasting cloud cover for much of the country.
If you are under cloud from the early hours of January 21, there are options available, as the Royal Observatory will be recording the event.
READ MORE: Watch the blood moon eclipse in the northern hemisphere
Royal Museums Greenwich recently announced they would be live streaming the blood Moon, starting from 8pm on January 20.
They revealed the event via Twitter, saying: “Who will be up at 4am watching the #totallunareclipse? We will!
“Tune in to our LIVE lunar eclipse broadcast to learn all about the #bloodmoon from Royal Observatory astronomers!”
Traditionally, the Royal Museums will also put their live streamed events on the YoutTube channel of the same name, available for those who don;t fancy an extra early rise.