When is the next blood moon in 2018? Lunar eclipse will be visible in the UK and here’s how long it’ll last

Britain will experience a full ‘blood moon’ lunar eclipse next month – one which is expected to be the longest of the century by astronomers.

It will be visible right across the UK, providing it isn’t obscured by cloudy weather.

The name comes from the fact the moon will take on a reddish tinge as all direct sunlight is blocked by the Earth’s shadow.

We haven’t seen a blood moon in the UK since January 31 , which was also a supermoon.

One lucky photographer captured an incredible time-lapse of the blood moon as it rose over London’s skyline in January

The reason for the reddish tinge is that the sunlight brightening the moon is refracted through the Earth’s shadow and, just like a sunset, appears red as colours are filtered out.

This is called “Rayleigh scattering”.

What is a blood moon?

“The moon’s orbit around our planet is tilted so it usually falls above or below the shadow of the Earth,” explains NASA.

“About twice each year, a full moon lines up perfectly with the Earth and sun such that Earth’s shadow totally blocks the sun’s light, which would normally reflect off the moon.”

“The moon will lose its brightness and take on an eerie, fainter-than-normal glow from the scant sunlight that makes its way through Earth’s atmosphere,” the space agency said.

“Often cast in a reddish hue because of the way the atmosphere bends the light, totally eclipsed Moons are sometimes called ‘blood moons.’”

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Blood moon

When can I see it?

Experts have dismissed the blood moon prophecy as a myth

Look up on the night of July 27 and the early hours of July 28 to get the best view. It shouldn’t matter where you are in the UK – if you can get to an open space with a clear view of the sky, you should be able to see it.

As always, make sure you’re as far away from light pollution as possible.

How long will it last?


The lunar eclipse is set to last around two hours – making it the longest such lunar eclipse this century.

There are a couple of reasons for this. Firstly, it’s happening at the same time as the moon’s apogee – when it’s at its furthest point away from Earth.

Secondly, it will be passing directly into the darkest region of the Earth’s shadow.

It will also be the smallest full moon of the year, which means it will take more time to pass through the dark shadow of the earth.

How do I get the best picture of it?

  • Stay away from bright lights
  • Try and pick a spot marked by interesting buildings or trees so the moon shows up in comparison
  • Keep the flash off
  • If you’re using your phone use your finger to focus the camera on where the moon is
  • The moon is actually moving so for a clear picture use an app that has a quick shutter speed
  • Tripods, zoom lenses and all the extra bits aren’t really needed but will help keep you steady and get a better close-up

You can share your best photos with us by messaging us on the Mirror Facebook page or on Instagram.

Does it signal the end of the world?


Despite what some conspiracy theorists have been saying , the world will not be ending on July 27.

The “blood moon” theory is interpreted from the Book of Joel, which says: “The sun will turn into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes.”

A similar passage in the Book of Revelations reads: “And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood.”

But it has been routinely dismissed by astronomers and other experts as a myth.

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