Who can forget the celestial spectacle of 2015, because we all gathered to watch the biggest solar eclipse in Europe since 1999?
This is an amazing sight. Since then, we have also got a lunar eclipse, which has produced a creepy bloody month.
In 2017, the Perseid meteor, eclipse, bloody moon and big American eclipse occurred within a few days.
For stargazers, the good news is that another total solar eclipse will occur soon, the longest solar eclipse of the 21st century.
So where is it, where can you see it? This is all you need to know.
When is the next full eclipse?
A total eclipse will occur on July 27. It will be the longest eclipse of the 21st century, because the moon is located one of the farthest places away from the Earth, making it look smaller – meaning that its surface will turn black more than in the eclipse.
The lunar eclipse occurs when the moon moves to the sun on the other side of the earth. It is in the shadow of the earth.
During this type of solar eclipse, the moon will gradually darken, but it will not completely disappear into black – it will appear copper or reddish. This is often referred to as blood month.
What is blood month? Why does the moon turn red when it is the eclipse?
The moon does not produce any of its own light – it shines because its surface reflects sunlight.
During the total lunar eclipse, the Earth blocks light from the sun and the moon’s surface, rather than emitting red or orange light. But why is that?
This is due to the effect called Rayleigh scattering. The same phenomenon produces red sunrises and sunsets that make the sky blue.
This is because the sun is sometimes bounced back when they come to us. Short wavelengths such as purple and blue scatter when they reach the atmosphere, while longer wavelengths such as red and orange pass through and reach the Earth.
So where is the eclipse visible?
Astronomers say the eclipse will appear in most parts of Europe, Africa, West Asia and Central Asia, the Indian Ocean and Western Australia.
In the UK, we are ready to understand the eclipse.
When the shadow of the earth moves on the moon, people in Birmingham can first see the eclipse that occurred at 9:00 pm on July 27.
The eclipse actually started before this – starting at 6:14 pm – the moon will be below the horizon, so we won’t be able to see it until later.
The eclipse will reach its maximum or total at 9:21 pm and will end at 12:28 am on Saturday, July 28.
This is a visible eclipse length of 3 hours and 28 minutes.
Similar eclipse visibility will be experienced in other parts of the UK. In London, people will be able to see it from 8:49 in the evening and 9:06 in the evening in Manchester.
The total solar eclipse lasts 1 hour and 43 minutes – this is the longest solar eclipse of the century.
How to get the best picture?
- Stay away from bright lights
- Try and choose an interesting building or tree marked location to compare the moon
- Turn off the flash
- If you are using a mobile phone, use your finger to point the camera at the location of the moon
- The moon is actually moving, so for a clear image, use an app with a fast shutter speed
- No need for a tripod, zoom lens and all the extra bits, but helps to stay stable and get better close-up