A LUNAR eclipse is an awe-inspiring natural event which can turn the moon an eerie shade of red.
Here we look at exactly what it is and when the next one will occur.
Lunar eclipses are when the earth gets between the sun and the moon[/caption]
What is a total lunar eclipse?
A lunar eclipse takes place when the moon is darkened as it passes into the Earth’s shadow.
In this setting, the Earth is directly between the moon and the sun.
The moon can also look reddish because Earth’s atmosphere absorbs colours and refracts them onto the moon.
During a total lunar eclipse, the moon is shining from all the sunrises and sunsets occurring on Earth.
What’s the difference between a lunar and a solar eclipse?
A solar eclipse happens when the moon gets in the way of the sun’s light and casts its shadow on Earth.
This kind of eclipse happens around every year and a half somewhere on Earth but not everyone experiences every solar eclipse.
The moon’s shadow on Earth is not very big, so only a small portion of places on Earth will see it.
The same spot on Earth only gets to see a solar eclipse for a few minutes about every 375 years, according to NASA.
The next solar eclipse witnessed in the UK will be on June 10, 2021, although it will just be a partial eclipse[/caption]
When are the next eclipses?
The next solar eclipse we are scheduled to see in the UK will be on June 10, 2021, although it will just be a partial eclipse.
It will take place over Britain ranging from a 20 per cent eclipse in northern Scotland to a 30 per cent eclipse in South East England.
The last total lunar eclipse was on January 21, 2019.
Many parts of the world will see a partial lunar eclipse on July 16-17, 2019 and most areas in Europe, Asia, Africa, South America and Australia should be able to see it.
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Are eclipses safe to look at?
A lunar eclipse is fine to look at but solar eclipses are only safe to look at when the sun is completely obscured by the sun.
Staring at it before then, even briefly, can cause irreparable eye damage, according to scientist Bill Nye.
He said: “The danger is simply that an eclipse is so fascinating, that we are tempted to stare right at the Sun for minutes at a time, much longer than we would even consider on any other day.”
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What is a total lunar eclipse, how does it differ to a solar eclipse and is it safe to look at directly?