Longest lunar eclipse of the century arrives this Friday evening

But the good old British weather could ruin many people's chances of seeing the longest lunar eclipse of the 21st century.

Being able to see the Sun and a lunar eclipse at once might be thought impossible, given these events typically happened when the Sun, the Earth and the moon were all in a straight line.

The eclipse will occur for one hour and 43 minutes in the early hours of Saturday, meaning you have plenty of time to see it! Opposition occurs when Earth is positioned with the Sun lined up directly behind it, and an outlying planet, such as Mars, Saturn, or Jupiter, lined up on the opposite side.

Sadly, people in the United Kingdom won't be able to see the start of the lunar eclipse.

The next will take place on January 21 2019.

It has been named "Blood Moon" as the Moon gets a rusty orange or deep red colour, when the sunlight is scattered through the Earth's atmosphere. It will also be almost three times brighter than Sirius - the brightest star in the night sky.

Unfortunately, it won't be visible in North America.

An eclipse is what happens when one celestial body obscures the light from another. Mars is also safe to view with the naked eye. But a small amount of light does actually pass through the outer parts of the Earth's atmosphere and reflect off the moon. The whole celestial event is to get over at 3.49 am.

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This period of complete lunar eclipse - known as "totality", is the time when the moon appears darkest or reddish in colour. Others have called this lunation the Full Thunder Moon, since thunderstorms tend to coincide with the height of the summer months.

The Blood Moon will be visible from most of Europe, Asia, Australia and South America.

It's when the eclipsed Moon can be seen on one horizon, while the rising Sun can also be observed near the opposite horizon.

Another reason not to miss and catch this astronomical treat is that the next longest total lunar eclipse is not expected to occur before June 9, 2123. "If you were on the Moon, you would see a total solar eclipse as the Earth would be blocking the Sun". The moon will be in flawless alignment with the sun and Earth on Friday, with the moon on the opposite side of the Earth from the sun.

The moon will be in the Earth's shadow for a whole 103 minutes tonight, July 27.

"If that were true, we'd be in big trouble given the gravitational pulls on Earth, Mars, and our moon!" the NASA website states.

If you were standing on the moon at the time of the eclipse, the Earth would look like a black disk outlined in glowing red.

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