Peak Times: How to Watch and Photograph Tonight’s Longest ‘Blood Moon’ Eclipse of the Century

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on friday, july 27, the longest total lunar eclipse of the 21st century will take place as the full moon passes through the shadow of the earth. the astronomical event will see the usually silvery moon turn blood red and ochre in what is called a ‘blood moon’ eclipse, and last 26 minutes longer than the last total lunar eclipse, in january. the next one that comes close won’t happen until 2029 and today’s running time won’t be matched until 2123.

image courtesy of NASA

how to watch: when and where will the eclipse be visible?

the total time of the total eclipse will be 1 hour, 42 minutes and 57 seconds or 3 hours, 54 minutes and 32 seconds with the duration of the partial eclipses on either side of it. between the time the moon first makes contact with the earth’s shadow to when it leaves it – the penumbral eclipse – a total of 6 hours, 13 minutes and 48 seconds will have passed.

the entire full eclipse will be visible to most of europe except for the UK where the moonrise occurs t 8.49PM, meaning brits will miss the first 19 minutes. starting from 9.30PM people in berlin, madrid, paris, rome and vienna will be able to view the beginning of the total eclipse, or 10.30PM in istanbul and moscow.

how to watch the eclipse online?

if you aren’t in the right conditions or area then don’t worry, you can live-stream the blood moon from various angles around the world. visit slooh, where the event will be shown from various telescopes across the globe. the event starts at 1pm EST on friday, fuly 27th.

watch here for online streaming of the event

how to take pictures?

truth be told, unless you have a digital SLR and know what you’re doing then there really is no point. standard phone cameras just aren’t capable of taking spectacular pictures because their small compact camera only has a wide lens and a small sensor. its difficult for cameras of this quality to expose a predominantly dark situation while trying simultaneously capture a small point of light. if you are gonna try however, turn off flash and compose your image with scenery to give your camera a helping hand and use a tripod to make it as steady as possible.