Everything you need to know about July 2018’s blood moon – including where to watch it and at what time.
There’s something seductively mystical about the moon. As pre-teens, we were obsessed with shows like Charmed that referenced the alleged powers of the planets. And today, astrology is having something of a resurgence among millennial women, many of whom take it more seriously than generations before them.
As a result, the news that a blood moon will be happening on Friday (27 July) – the longest celestial event of its kind this century – is rather exciting.
In total the lunar eclipse, which will see the earth pass between the sun and moon, should last for 103 minutes and will create a red glow across the moon. Not only will this be mesmerising to watch, but as it’s the longest one we’ve seen since the beginning of the 21st century, it’s said to be extra significant as it could intensify our emotions.
What is a blood moon?
A blood moon describes the state of the moon in a lunar eclipse. A lunar eclipse happens when the earth passes between the sun and the moon, which creates a dark shadow over the moon. As it does so, the sun’s light is blocked, which throws a hue of red over the moon.
This isn’t to be confused with a solar eclipse, which is when the moon passes between the earth and the sun. In this instance, the moon turns black or appears to disappear.
How rare is a blood moon?
The maximum that we could see a lunar eclipse in a year would be three times, but some years there may not even be one.
However, this lunar eclipse is particularly special because of its length. The moon will be sitting in the earth’s shadow for four hours. For one hour and 43 minutes of this it will be completely eclipsed, which is nearly the limit for a lunar eclipse.
Where can I see the blood moon?
If, by chance, you’re able to take a trip out of the UK to watch the blood moon, you should know that the best views will be from East Africa, the Middle East, India and western parts of China.
In fact, most of the world should be able to gaze into the night’s sky and get a reasonable view of the eclipse. That is, unless you live in North America or Greenland, which are the only places that will miss out entirely.
Those living in the UK should be able to see the blood moon wherever they live in the country, just by stepping outside and looking up into the sky. But if you’re in a big city, the amount of light pollution will impair your view. People living out in the countryside with less light pollution will have a much clearer view.
What time is the blood moon?
Those looking for the blood moon in the UK will see a partial eclipse from 8.30pm on Friday (27 July). By 9.20pm the moon will start to be totally eclipsed, which will last until around 11pm.
Depending on where you are in the country, your viewing times may be slightly earlier or later. For example, those living in Glasgow will have to wait until 9.26pm for moonrise, while Londoners will see it at 8.49pm.
Best places to see the blood moon in the UK
As previously mentioned, the further out of the city you are, the less light pollution you’ll have ruining your view. So if possible, head to a large expanse of countryside. Nature reserves and country parks are great places for this, or you can check out our list of gorgeous walking routes around the UK which has lots of suggestions for outdoors spaces.
If you live in London, it’s fair to say that an abundance of nature reserves aren’t exactly on your doorstep, but you could trot along to one of the many parks to get a view not obstructed by a skyscraper. We suggest trying Green Park which is open 24 hours, or Hyde Park, which closes at midnight. You could also try Regent’s Park, Primrose Hill or Greenwich Park, but you won’t have long to stare at the moon, as these parks close at 9.30pm.
What does the blood moon mean in terms of astrology?
According to moonologist Yasmin Boland, the moon can affect us all year round, from disturbing our sleep patterns to causing our menstrual cycles to sync with its phases. She also believes that the moon can alter our mental state, either promoting feelings of being excited or energised when the moon is in a crescent, or feeling lost or adrift when it’s not in view.
Explaining why women, and millennials especially, are so attracted to the moon, Boland says: “I think working with the moon is something that’s always been really innate in women – it’s something women have done traditionally and in astrology, the moon represents (among other things) femininity and the goddess, so it’s interesting that it’s generally women who are more attracted to working with the moon than men, especially on an astrological or symbolic level.
“I’ve just seen it explode in the last two to three years. It’s actually coincided with the new women’s movements we’re seeing around the world, such as #MeToo and Time’s Up. It’s like women are once again finding ways to connect to their power, and it’s my belief that by working with the moon you actually do reconnect to your feminine power.”
So, if this is your kind of thing, what changes can you expect to feel as the blood moon rises? Some astrology experts say that because this is a relatively rare event your emotions may fluctuate more dramatically and your feelings may become more intense than usual.
But whether you believe in astrology or not, it’s sure to be spectacular
Images: Getty / iStock / Ganapathy Kumar