On Sunday night into Monday morning, people across Chester and Cheshire West will be able to see a supermoon lunar eclipse, as the moon passes through Earth’s shadow turning a beautiful bright red.
It also means the full moon will be at both its darkest and brightest within the space of just a few hours.
What is going to happen?
It will be the first supermoon lunar eclipse since 1982 and according to Nasa there won’t be another one until 2033.
The moon will seem brighter and around 14 per cent bigger in diameter than usual.
Then, as the moon passes behind the Earth’s shadow, it will takes on a blood red hue.
It will be the fourth of four total lunar eclipses in a two year period, which is known as a Lunar Tetrad. This is when four total lunar eclipses happen six months apart.
What time is the eclipse?
The entire eclipse process will take five hours and 11 minutes, starting at 1.11am, with partial eclipse from 2.07am. The full eclipse starts at 3.11am with maximum eclipse at 3.47am. The full eclipse ends at 4.23am. The best time to catch it for Chester is 3.50am.
For those who don’t fancy getting up at 3am, early risers could catch the end of the partial eclipse at 5.27am. And if you’re up at 6am, the penumbral eclipse, when the Moon travels through the outer part of the Earth’s shadow, ends at 6.22am.
How does the weather look?
From 1am on Monday morning there is due to be limited cloud cover and visibility will be good. Temperatures are expected to be between 10 and 11 degrees celscius.
Tell me more about the Blood Moon
During the eclipse, the sun’s rays will bend around the Earth and the light will appear red or copper to the naked eye. A Blood Moon is regarded by some to be a sign of the apocalypse as they believe it is linked to tidal waves, volcano eruptions and earthquakes.
The reddish colour during total lunar eclipse is a phenomenon called Rayleigh scattering. It is the same process that is responsible for causing colourful sunrises and sunsets and gives us a blue sky.
What causes a lunar eclipse?
For a lunar eclipse to occur, the sun, Earth and moon need to be aligned roughly in a straight line.
The Earth blocks direct sunlight from reaching the moon. The sun is behind the Earth, which means the light from the sun casts the Earth’s umbra (shadow) on the moon.
In a total lunar eclipse, the Earth’s umbra completely covers the Moon. A total lunar eclipse can happen only when the sun, Earth and moon are perfectly lined up.
See pictures from the solar eclipse in March
How often do total lunar eclipses occur?
Around 35 per cent of all lunar eclipses that take place over the course of a year are total lunar eclipses.