This is how to watch tonight's lunar eclipse - on the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 rocket launch

Tuesday, 16th July 2019, 12:28 pm
Updated Tuesday, 16th July 2019, 1:28 pm

A lunar eclipse is set to provide a night-time spectacle to people around the world, and it just so happens to fall on the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 rocket launch.

The UK will have a good view of the eclipse tonight (16 July) - the moon will be about half-covered by the Earth's shadow at maximum eclipse.

The eclipse will be visible from most of Asia, Australia, Africa, Europe, and South America, and will be the last lunar eclipse until January 2020.

What is a lunar eclipse?

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An eclipse occurs when the Earth comes between the moon and the sun, causing the Earth’s shadow to cover the moon.

During a total lunar eclipse, the Earth blocks light from the sun and it turns a reddish colour due to sunlight bending through the Earth’s atmosphere.

Short wavelengths like blue and violet bounce off the Earth, while longer wavelengths like red and orange pass through, leading the moon to glow in those colours.

July's lunar eclipse is only partial, and so the moon won't turn the deep shade of red it does during a total lunar eclipse.

Instead, it will be slightly dimmed, and part of its surface will appear darker as the Earth's shadow drifts over it.

When will we see the lunar eclipse?

The lunar eclipse will occur on the night of 16 July, the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 rocket launch.

The moon will rise in the south-east first, at around 9.00pm in London, and will reach maximum totality at 10:31pm.

Do you need special glasses to look at the moon?

Protective eye wear was recommended during the recent solar eclipse to protect people’s eyes from the sun’s bright light.

However, during a lunar eclipse the glow from the moon is not nearly as strong. It is safe to look at the spectacle without any additional protection.

This article originally appeared on our sister site, inews