On Friday 27th July the longest lunar eclipse of the century (so far) will take place. This type of lunar eclipse is called a blood moon.
What is a blood moon?
A blood moon occurs when the Earth, sun and moon align perfectly, putting the moon in Earth’s shadow. The total lunar eclipse will last around one hour and 43 minutes. The moon turns to a shade of red, due to the sunlight being refracted through the Earth’s atmosphere.
Thanks to The Astronomical Society of Malta
Will I be able to see it in Malta?
Yes, the total lunar eclipse will be visible from Malta, the ideal scenario would be the highest place you can think of, with the lowest light pollution possible, such as Dingli Cliffs.
Can I look at it?
Yes, unlike a solar eclipse, a lunar eclipse is not harmful to the naked eye and can be watched from Earth with no risks of harming your eyes.
What time shall I rush to my rooftop?
The first stage of the full lunar eclipse is the partial eclipse. This will begin at 20:24 and here, the moon is getting red and is close to the horizon. The total lunar eclipse will begin at around 21:30 and will last until 23:13. With this being said, we suggest heading to your viewpoint of choice at around 21:20 to make sure you get to see the whole process.
Pro tip: when trying to get the best view of the blood moon on Friday are: avoid locations where light pollution is very proficient in the area.
What settings should I use to get the best shot of the moon from my phone?
If you choose to photograph the blood moon using your smartphone, rather than a camera, here are the optimal settings to use to ensure you get the best shot of the total lunar eclipse.
- ISO 50
- Shutter speed between 1/250 and 1/750 depending on the phase of the moon (faster speed for brighter moon).
If you want to get a better view of the blood moon, the Astronomical Society of Malta will be live streaming it here.