TECH

Lunar Eclipse Wednesday 8 October 2014: How To See It

06/10/2014 11:22 BST | Updated 06/10/2014 18:59 BST

Good news: there's a total Lunar eclipse on Wednesday 8 October.

Bad news: if you live in the UK, you won't see it.

total lunar eclipse

The Lunar eclipse - in which the shadow of the Earth blocks the Moon from the Sun - will occur at around 07:00 in New York, or 12:00 in the UK. It will be the second this year, but only the third since 2011.

It will be visible across large parts of North America and the Pacific Ocean, but not over the UK where the Moon will have already set.

Fortunately it should lead to some dramatic pictures. Not only will the eclipse be visible, in some parts of the US viewers will also be able to see the rising sun simultaneously.

total lunar eclipse

Above: Sky & Telescope Magazine released a good viewing map for the eclipse

This might seem counter-intuitive, but the phenomenon (a "selenelion") is able to occur when the sun and moon are both just below the horizon, but appear to be above due to a trick of optics known as atmospheric refraction. This effect lets us see objects below the horizon before they rise, and there will be a window of about 2 minutes West of the Mississippi to see just that on Wednesday.

If you happen to be in these areas Space.com has a good guide on how to see it.

For the rest of us, you should either get on a plane by Tuesday evening at the latest or just watch this space for the best pictures from the eclipse as they come in.