What is a total lunar eclipse?
The Moon’s elliptic orbit carries the natural satellite through Earth’s shadow cast by the Sun.
Throughout the month the Moon moves deeper towards the centre of the shadow and then out and away from it, creating the various phases of the Moon.
During a Full Moon, the Moon is fully illuminated by the Sun and completely out of the Earth’s shadow.
A new moon then occurs when the glowing orb completely moves into the shadow and disappears from sight.But about twice a year something unusual happens and the moon passes through the centre of Earth’s shadow, the umbra, in just one night, creating a total lunar eclipse.
What is a Blood Moon?
So why exactly do astronomers refer to an eclipsed moon as the Blood Moon if it disappears in the Earth’s shadow?
The somewhat ominous name comes down to the scattering of light in the atmosphere known as Rayleigh scattering.
NASA said: “As the Moon passes into the central part of the shadow, called the umbra, it darkens dramatically.
“Once it’s entirely within the umbra, the Moon appears a dim red due to sunlight scattered through the Earth’s atmosphere.
“In fact, if you watch the eclipse from the surface of the Moon, you’d see the Sun set behind the entire Earth, bathing you in a warm red glow.”
Rayleigh scattering is the exact same effect which paints the skies orange during sunsets and even gives blue eyes their colour.
Once the total phase of the eclipse ends and the Moon passes into to the partial and penumbral eclipse phase, the Moon will start to return to normal.
As soon as the Moon leaves the Earth’s shadow completely it will look like a regular, white full moon.
The upcoming total lunar eclipse will see the July full moon disappear into the centre of Earths’ darkest shadow, known as the umbra.
The moon will pass through the umbra on the night of Friday, July 27, causing the moon to momentarily disappear from sight.
Soon after the moon will take on a deep red or orange hue and emerge as the ominous Blood Moon.
Astronomers are expecting the entire spectacle to last a whopping one hour and 43 minutes, making it the longest total lunar eclipse of the 21st century.
The Blood Moon eclipse will last about one hour and 43 minutes, making it the single longest lunar eclipse of the century.
By comparison, the January Super Blue Blood Moon eclipse six months ago, only lasted one hour and 16 minutes.
When is the Blood Moon eclipse this year?
A total lunar eclipse occurs roughly twice a year and this year’s second Blood moon eclipse falls on Friday, July 27.
The eclipse will begin in the afternoon hours when the moon is high in the sky but eclipse start times will vary around the globe.
The Blood Moon will begin over swathes of Central Asia and slowly creep towards Eastern Africa.
These parts of the globe will get to see the eclipse from start to finish while other parts of the world will only see parts of the show.
When is the lunar eclipse Blood Moon visible in India?
The eclipse will feature mainly in the Eastern Hemisphere with the path of totality firmly over Central Asia and Eastern Africa.
India will be right in the middle of the action on July 27 when the moon starts to darken.
The initial stage of the eclipse, known as the Penumbral phase, will start around 10.44pm IST but times might slightly vary between locations.
Up north over the capital New Delhi the full total eclipse will start around 1am IST on Saturday, July 28 and end at 2.43am IST.
When is the lunar eclipse Blood Moon visible in Malaysia?
Malaysia and the neighbouring Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam sit just outside the main path of totality but nearly all of the total and partial eclipse will still be visible.
In Malaysia, the total eclipse will be visible in the morning hours of July 28 from around 1am MYT.
Over the capital Kuala Lumpur, the Penumbral phase starts at 1.14am MYT and moves into the partial eclipse 2.24am MYT.
The total eclipse phase of the Blood Moon will start roughly around 3.30am MYT and reach maximum about 50 minutes later at 4.21am MYT.
When is the lunar eclipse Blood Moon visible in the UAE?
As the Blood Moon journeys across the night skies to the west, it will pass over the Middle East from Pakistan through Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and as far north as Turkey, Georgia and parts of Russia.
The full moon will begin to eclipse over the United Arab Emirates and will continue into the morning hours of Saturday, July 28.
The Penumbral eclipse over Dubai will begin at 9.14pm GST, followed by the partial eclipse at 10.24pm GST and total eclipse at 11.30pm GST.
By the time the Blood Moon turns red, the eclipse will reach maximum at 12.21am GST.
The lunar eclipse will then begin to wrap up and the moon will slowly return to its normal colours.
The final Penumbral stage of the Blood Moon eclipse will end around 3.28am GST on Saturday morning.
When is the lunar eclipse Blood Moon visible in the UK?
The eclipse in its entirety, from start to finish, will be primarily visible in the Eastern Hemisphere.
Over London, the Blood Moon will rise at roughy 8.50pm BST.
Meanwhile in Glasgow moonrise is scheduled at 9.26pm BST and Cardiff will see the moon peak over the horizon at 9.01pm BST.
When is the lunar eclipse Blood Moon visible in Australia?
The Blood Moon eclipse will begin slightly later over Australia, in the early morning hours on Saturday, July 28.
Stargazers in Melbourne will see the penumbral stage of the eclipse begin at 3.14am AEST and the full eclipse will kick off at 5.30am AEST.
When is the lunar eclipse Blood Moon visible in the US and Canada?
The bad news for Northern and Central America is the Blood Moon will not be visible from those parts of the world.