No heatwave, or summer would be complete without some kind of phenomenon, as if the heat wasn’t enough.
Tonight, Friday the 27th July 2018, make sure you look skywards towards our nearest satellite, the moon, for the longest lunar eclipse of the century.
What’s more this lunar eclipse promises to deliver a spectacular blood red or ruddy-brown from start to finish.
This change of colour is being caused by Mars being in direct opposition creating a red type colour being reflected on the surface of the moon.
Will I be able to see the eclipse from Torbay?
The Earth passing between the sun and moon will last for 103 minutes tonight.
The eclipse will be full visible for those located in and around the Indian Ocean, covering countries such as India to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Closer to home the eclipse will be partly visible from 8:50pm this evening, just ensure you look to the South East.
However, that said, with the onset of rain and thunderstorms this could scupper sky gazers plans.
Robert Massey of the Astronomical Society said:
It is a really nice and rare opportunity to see an eclipse moon next to Mars in the night sky.
You’ll have two bright objects of such huge public interest…it’s a great chance for photographers.
Why so long?
The eclipse will take longer, this time round, because the moon will be at one of its furthest points from earth.
Essentially this means that our planet’s shadow is particularly long.
Fear not, this is not the sign of coming apocalypse and you are free to go about your daily business such as paying taxes and going to work.
What’s the difference between a lunar eclipse and a full eclipse?
Essentially they are worlds apart.
A total eclipse is caused when the Earth completely obscures sunlight from directly hitting the moon as the sun, the earth sun and moon will be in perfect alignment.
Such events, however, are extremely rare.
Where as with a lunar eclipse it is caused by the Earth passing between the moon and the sun.
Image diagram, credit NASA