If you’re into astrology, this month has been, well, interesting for you, to say the least. Two major astrological events in less than 30 days will really throw you some loops. But even if you’re not into reading the stars for what they have in store for your life, you can count on an amazing show. Get ready for a stunner of an evening this week because there’s going to be a lunar eclipse blood moon.
OK, we know, that’s a whole lot of words. So let’s break that down so you understand how gorgeous the views are going to be (and then we’ll get to how to catch them). Unlike their solar counterparts, you don’t need any special equipment or eyewear to check out the lunar eclipse blood moon. A lunar eclipse happens when the moon passes in the shadow of the Earth, but a lunar eclipse blood moon is this effect plus a special rust. We go into what is a blood moon and how they’re caused in our guide if you want to know more.
What you need to know about the lunar eclipse blood moon
The lunar eclipse blood moon happening later this week will be the longest total lunar eclipse of the entire century, Space.com reports. Even more of a reason to not miss this gorgeous event. The lunar eclipse blood moon will be visible for a grand total of 4 hours, though the peak or “total” phase of the eclipse (in which that radiant red hue is at its best) will last 1 hour and 43 minutes.
But wait, it gets even better for stargazers. This night overlaps with Mars appearing its brightest. Although its shine is particularly fantastic all month long as it reaches its opposition — it’s the closest this planet has been to Earth since 2003 — the glimmer will be particularly spectacular after reaching opposition as it approaches its closest position to Earth. That will happen on Tuesday, July 31.
When is the lunar eclipse blood moon?
The lunar eclipse blood moon will unfold between 3:30 p.m. and 5:13 p.m. ET on Friday, July 27, although the peak of the eclipse will happen at 4:21 p.m. ET. Set your calendar reminders now to tune in from your work computers. As you can see from the times of the eclipse, this one’s not going to seen in your night sky if you’re one of our New York, Philly or Boston readers.
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How you can see the lunar eclipse blood moon
So clear this isn’t something you’re going to want to miss out on. Unfortunately for people living in North America, seeing it in person just isn’t a possibility — unless you’re heading out on vacation this week. Stargazers in most of Africa, the Middle East, southern Asia and the Indian Ocean region will be able to watch the lunar event, though, says lunar scientist Noah Petro, of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Well, if weather cooperates. South America can catch a glimpse as its ending, Australia as the event is beginning, but neither region will see the entire lunar eclipse blood moon.
But don’t worry, if you’re unable to step outside and see the ruddy red moon. There’s going to be an eclipse 2018 live stream so you can see the lunar eclipse blood moon in almost all of its glory.
Watch the eclipse 2018 live stream
The embed below is for the eclipse 2018 live stream. Although there’s nothing there now, you’ll see it’s scheduled to go live in a matter of days so you can check out the lunar eclipse blood moon as if you’re in one of the lucky regions where people can just step outside.
Wondering when you’ll be able to see a lunar eclipse with your own eyes? The next one visible in North America will happen on January 21, 2019. Until then, there will always be live streams.