The Guardian view on a special lunar eclipse: maximise your moon | Editorial

Scientists could not be more excited about the spectacle Lunar eclipse begins Eclipses occur when the moon passes between the Earth and sun in front of the sun and lights up the Earth in…

The Guardian view on a special lunar eclipse: maximise your moon | Editorial

Scientists could not be more excited about the spectacle

Lunar eclipse begins

Eclipses occur when the moon passes between the Earth and sun in front of the sun and lights up the Earth in the process. This event, a total lunar eclipse, will last three hours and 20 minutes. It is expected to begin at 00:00 GMT on 31 November. As the moon passes behind the earth, its disc will turn red and appear much like the moon at sunset. Because the moon will not be at full moons, the shading will be particularly pronounced, according to NASA.

– to get to bed

When will the Earth pass in front of the sun?

For a better view of the eclipse, be sure to try looking the moon to the east at approximately 10.24. For those closer to the sun, those lines of sunlight will come to us from the sun and should create a 70-degree angle so that the image of the sun will be offset 90 degrees. Viewers have recently begun seeing an eclipsed moon across the south-east coasts of the US and they should see the eclipse continue to progress across the country.

– to get up

What about a partial eclipse?

Still not convinced? Consider this caveat: There is less available to help us pinpoint the stages of the partial eclipse. But the good news is that all stages are visible, so everyone will get to see a partial eclipse. As the moon goes past the edge of the Earth, the crescent will become much smaller in the sky, but by 2100 GMT the moon will be at a significant phase, making it easier to see. It is estimated that at that point, the moon will have passed in front of a large section of the sun’s disk, although it will still look somewhat red, and some scientists will warn that viewers shouldn’t get too blinded by the sky. Partial eclipses are temporary.

– to take a nap

How can I witness the spectacle?

The best places to watch the eclipse are in the US, mainly on the east coast but the chance to view the eclipse just across the pond in Europe is surprisingly small. To watch the eclipse in the UK, the moon will be midway between the Earth and the sun at 09:12 GMT, giving observers a view of the moon’s diameter against the backdrop of the sun. But astronomical users in the UK will have a shorter period of view because the moon will enter part of the Earth’s shadow first, meaning the eclipse will last for only about 18 minutes.

– to travel

For those outside the US, NASA has a list of locations around the world that will be well positioned to see the eclipse. They include National Historic Landmarks that include Acadia National Park in Maine and Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, as well as the Saturn Nebula and the Helix nebula in the Southern Hemisphere. Best of all, citizens of Antarctica will get to witness the rare lunar eclipse in the middle of a polar freeze, so it seems every country can find a way to watch a total eclipse.

– to go to sleep

To highlight the importance of viewing a total lunar eclipse, recent of the House of Lords science and technology committee warned: “The eclipse in 2019 demonstrates that some of the sun’s solar radiation is absorbing in the shadows and producing dark blue or red shades of the moon. The dark shadows of the Earth’s atmosphere in combination with the natural effect of red sunlight, are causing the red hues.”

– to not do anything else

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