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Best time to view the Supermoon and blood moon lunar eclipse

Best time to view the Supermoon and blood moon lunar eclipse

Some dramatic celestial events are about to take place this week but, according to Nasa, the end of the world is not nigh.

The night of September 27 will see both a supermoon and a lunar eclipse - meaning that evening will have both the brightest, and then the darkest, moon of the year.

In the early morning of September 28, the moon will be extra close to the earth meaning it will glow even more brightly, especially around 2am.

But, soon after that, the moon will start to disappear and will be completely eclipsed around 3am, as the earth moves between it and the sun. The moon won’t be visible again until about 4.30am.

During the eclipse, the sun’s rays will bend around the earth and the light will become red — casting the satellite in a coppery colour, known as the Blood Moon.

The double event last happened in 1982, and won’t happen again until 2033.

The strange occurrence has prompted some groups in the US to claim that the 'end of the world is nigh' citing the rare astrological event as a sign of the Apocalypse, predicted in a passage in the Bible that says: 'The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord comes.'

But according to Nasa scientists, the most that will happen on our planet that night is neck cramp.

"The only thing that will happen on earth during an eclipse is that people will wake up the next morning with neck pain because they spent the night looking up," said Noah Petro, deputy project scientist for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

"It’s just planetary dynamics," said Petro, in a statement. "The orbit of the moon around Earth is inclined to the axis of Earth and the orbital plane of all these things just falls into place every once in a while.

Ken Kennedy of the British Astronomical Association, based in Dundee, said: "There's an awful lot of hot air about supermoons, but the eclipse is the important thing.

"It depends how much light is refracted round the earth to light the moon, so if there are clouds you won't get as good a view.

"But we'll be hoping for a lovely orange amber colour but sometimes you can't see anything if the clouds are too heavy.

"I'll be out photographing it with my telescope. It's not completely rare, but it's rare enough to be interesting."

At the moment, weather reports are showing good conditions for Scotland on the night of the eclipse, with relatively clear skies.

You can keep up to date with the viewing conditions here with STV Weather.

Main image courtesy of Tom Ruen

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