The moon passes through the shadow of the Earth next weekend, begins at 0232 BST on 16 May

Image Credit:MoonNasa

This is a heads-up about a total lunar eclipse that will occur next weekend. When the moon passes through the shadow of the Earth, it is called a total lunar eclipse.

It occurs in stages, the first of which is the penumbral phase. On the 16th of May, at 0232 BST, this will begin

 Although most of the sun's light is blocked, some rays can still reach the moon during a penumbral eclipse

 It produces a mild darkening effect that is easy to overlook.

The second stage, the umbral eclipse, is more striking. The darkest section of the Earth's shadow passes across the lunar surface at this time

 It starts at 0327 BST and ends at 0429 BST, when the moon is completely eclipsed. 

The moon appears coppery red during the entire eclipse phase. Because of the Earth's atmosphere, part of the sun's light is bent towards it.

The moon will set shortly after this in the UK, although the eclipse will last until 0750 BST

The entire extravaganza will be broadcast throughout Central and Southern America, as well as the eastern areas of North America. From Australia, it will be invisible.

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