As 2023 comes to an end one spooky astronomical event will be visible in the UK and mainland Europe just in time for Halloween.
If you need a bit of help getting into the Halloween spirit, take a glance at the moon on October 28th, where the sky will reveal a partial lunar eclipse.
What is a partial lunar eclipse and why do they happen?
For all our non-moon watchers here’s a rundown of what a partial lunar eclipse means.
According to National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), all lunar eclipses only occur when a full moon is present, during which part of the Moon moves into Earth’s shadow, known as the umbra. This particular alignment between the planet, Sun, and Moon projects a change in the Moon’s lighting from our perspective.
BBC Sky at Night Magazine explains that “only sunlight that has been bent (refracted) by Earth’s atmosphere reaches the Moon,” causing the Moon to appear reddish in color.
For the best view of this rare astronomical event, grab a pair of binoculars and take a trip on the outskirts of London, away from the city’s light pollution. If staying within the city is more appealing, Hampstead Heath and Regent’s Park are both highly recommended outdoor spaces to stargaze. Although the eclipse will be visible for most of the evening on the 28th, the peak hours of light will be from 20:35 until 22:00 (BST), giving you plenty of time to catch it before your Saturday night out.
Make sure to keep an eye out for this event because the next visible eclipse in the UK won’t be until March 2024! Enjoy sky watching!