This is what to expect from Friday's 'blood moon'

Cloud cover over Dundee and Tayside could blot out views of one of the longest lunar eclipses this century. And, of course, there are areas across the world where the eclipse will not be visible at all, such as North America.

For those in the Middle East and Madagascar, the eclipse will occur about midnight, and people in Europe and Africa will have the best view between sunset and midnight.

The July 27 Blood Moon eclipse, the longest lunar eclipse this century can be seen from Taiwan overnight on July 27-28. Patient spectators may also catch a glimpse of the Blood Moon, caused by the little moonlight that gets refracted due to earth's atmosphere.

It will be partially visible in the United Kingdom from 8.15pm on Friday evening - but rain clouds and thunderstorms could scupper skygazers' attempts to watch the celestial spectacular.

Here in North America, however, we will get a great look at Mars at its opposition, meaning when the Earth is directly between Mars and the sun. Mars will shine brighter than it has in 15 years.

Moonrise will be at 8.49pm BST in London, 9.46pm in Glasgow, 9.02pm in Cardiff and 9.27pm in Belfast, with mid-eclipse occurring at 9.21pm and the "total" phase ending at around 10.13pm.

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"The light from the sun goes through the Earth's atmosphere on its way to the moon, and the Earth's atmosphere turns it red in the same way that when the sun goes down, it goes red", astronomy professor Andrew Fabian, of the University of Cambridge, told Reuters.

When is chandra grahan/lunar eclipse in India?

You won't want to miss tonight's blood moon because the next one won't take place until January 2019. "But, it will reach closest to the earth on 31 July, when it will appear the brightest since 2003", said a ministry of earth sciences official. However, there still is a way using which it is possible to view the "blood moon" - live stream on YouTube. According to him, the moon orbits around Earth, while Earth orbits around the sun. It will be on the intervening night of July 27 and 28 with a duration of 1 hour and 43 minutes, making it the longest one.

"This is actually nearly as long as a lunar eclipse could be", Prof Tim O'Brien, an astrophysicist at University of Manchester, explained. As a outcome, it will also appear to be the biggest and brightest in the last 15 years.

The Moon will pass right through the centre of the Earth's shadow, at the shadow's widest point. Then the Moon will start to gradually come out of Earth's shadow and partial eclipse will end at 3.49 am, the statement said. It will remain very close to the eclipsed moon and can be spotted easily with the naked eye.

"Mars will look like this lovely bright red star just below the Moon", said Prof O'Brien.

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