What happens astronomically on the lunar eclipse?
A lunar eclipse happens at a full Moon. The Earth is between the Sun and Moon, casting a shadow on the Moon's surface. This is only visible to us if the exact time of the full Moon occurs during the night in our time zone. The culmination of tension and agitation at this time is very powerful.
There are three kinds of lunar eclipses: total, partial and penumbral.
During a total lunar eclipse, the inner part of Earth’s shadow, called the umbra, falls on the Moon’s face. At mid-eclipse, the entire Moon is in shadow, which may appear blood red.
31st January 2018
There's a total lunar eclipse but it will not be seen from the UK as the Moon is below the horizon and the Sun is up. The eclipse begins at 10:51 (GMT) then reaches greatest eclipse at *13:29 ending at 16:08.
27th July 2018
There's a total lunar eclipse which will be seen from the UK as the Moon rises at 20:49 (BST)(London). The eclipse begins at 18:14 then reaches greatest eclipse at *21:21 ending at 00:28.
*Note - the time of Full Moon is different to the time of the eclipse by 10 minutes.
During a partial lunar eclipse the Earth moves between the Sun and Moon but they do not form a perfectly straight line. A small part of the Moon's surface is covered by the darkest, central part of the Earth's shadow - the umbra.
During a penumbral lunar eclipse, the diffuse outer shadow of Earth falls on the Moon’s face. This kind of lunar eclipse is very subtle, and much more difficult to observe, than the total or partial eclipse. The least spectacular eclipse to view. At best, at the peak of the eclipse, you will notice a dark shading on the Moon’s face.