Those clued in to what’s going on in outer space may well have excitedly circled this date in their calendars yonks ago; but for those that remain unaware, let us fill you in. A blood moon eclipse, which could make the moon appear red, is on the cards this Sunday (May 15) carrying over into Monday (May 16).
Now, getting up even earlier on a Monday morning is an idea born in hell for most people, but this one time may well be worth it. How often do you get the chance to see a full lunar eclipse forming a blood moon? Not very, is the answer — the phenomenon tends to only happen up to twice a year, and is often not visible enough due to forces beyond our control. The next lunar eclipse, for example, will not be visible in the UK, according to the Royal Observatory.
Let’s hope the clouds are in our favour this time around (not a sure thing in Birmingham) to give us optimum viewing of the event. For those wishing to catch a glimpse of the blood moon, it should be visible in the UK between 2:32am and 5:10 — leaving you with the catch-22 of sleep deprivation-based dilemmas: stay up late or set your alarm for stupid o’clock. Either way, you’ll likely be a little yawny in your first meeting of the week, but the sighting of a blood moon should be a pretty reasonable trade-off.
The Royal Observatory says that the best time for to look out their windows is between 4:29am and 5:06am (although this may differ by a few minutes across the UK), before the moon disappears below the horizon. The last time the UK experienced a total lunar eclipse was all the way back in 2019, so this may well be worth braving the early hours for!