25 February 2017 | 8 °C

And The Moon Became As Blood ... Again

By londonist_nealr Last edited 119 months ago
And The Moon Became As Blood ... Again


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A total lunar eclipse, the first one visible from the UK since 2004, will be snuffing out the moon for several hours this Saturday night.

A refresher for those of us who haven't seen a science programme in 20 years: a lunar eclipse is when the Earth, that mischievous little scamp, jumps up between the sun and the moon and makes little bunny shadow puppets that completely obscure the moon's face.

Some say this weekend's lunar darkening will last 1000 years and that it portends a time of doom and sorrow for many generations. However, scientists say that the total eclipse will last 1 hour 14 minutes, starting at about 10:45pm. The moon will slowly start to dim at about 8, and the whole spectacular will be concluded by half past two in the morning.

Saturday's eclipse will be visible from the eastern Americas, Europe, Africa, and western Asia. Unlike a solar eclipse which can only be viewed from a limited area, lunar eclipses can be viewed from any nighttime spot on Earth.

Also, whereas solar eclipses cause instant permanent blindness when people look at them directly through telescopes or binoculars without proper safety equipment (or at least that's what they told us when we were kids and I'm not going to question that), lunar eclipses can produce a feeling a tranquil grooviness.

Or groovy tranquility. Enjoy.

Last Updated 02 March 2007