The eclipse will peak over the UK in the wee morning hours of Monday, January 21, when Britain is waking from its slumber. The moment of so-called greatest eclipse will occur just after 5am GMT (UTC) here in Britain. But the actual first stages of the Blood Moon eclipse will begin nearly two hours earlier, from about 2.36am GMT. From start finish, the January eclipse will last about three hours and 17 minutes, ending before the Moon dips below the horizon and sunrise.
How to best see the Blood Moon eclipse in the UK ?
After the July 27, 2018, Blood Moon vanished behind an unfortunate cover of thick cloud, UK skywatchers have one more chance to see a lunar eclipse.
And worse yet, this will be the last Blood Moon eclipse in the skies until May 26, 2021.
Thankfully, the UK is well positioned this year to catch a good view of the eclipse, albeit with a few small caveats.
The total lunar eclipse will play out largely over North and South America where it will be visible from start to finish.
The same is true for the UK, but according to Royal Observatory Greenwich astronomer Tom Kerss, the Blood Moon will sit close to the horizon when it peaks.
From most of the UK the altitude of the eclipse is going to start nice and high
The eclipse expert told Express.co.uk: “Crucially, the thing you have to bear in mind about this eclipse is from most of the UK the altitude of the eclipse is going to start nice and high.
“But but the time the eclipse is in full swing – for example, 5.15am – by that point the Moon will be quite low in the sky.
“The Moon will be about 25-degrees above the local horizon. It’s going to be a 270-degrees bearing at that point, so it will be perfectly in the west.
“So the crucial tip would be, if you want to see the best stage of the eclipse which starts around 20-to-5am when the totality of the eclipse occurs, you just need to make sure you have a really good, clear western horizon – preferably from the southwest into the northwest that you can see a long way on that horizon.
“If there are trees or buildings there, they are really going to get in the way, so either nice and high or a piece of flat ground where you can step away from any obstructions.”
If you are interested in astrophotography, the astronomer said the Blood Moon will present the perfect opportunity to snap an out-of-this-world photo.
And if you are confident in your photography skills, the Royal Observatory will host an astrophotography contest from January 14.
Mr Kerss said: “With the Moon low on the horizon you can create all kinds of nice framing with buildings and trees.
“So if you want to set up a really good shot with a long lens, you can make a really nice shot with the foreground in it for astrophotographers.
“And obviously with it being a January morning, and that goes without saying, but it’s likely going to be exceptionally cold at that time of the morning just before dawn, so I recommend dressing up really warm for any eclipse.
“It is very easy to get taken in by the majesty of it, the kind of spectacle, and find yourself staring at the sky while you are gradually freezing half-to-death without paying attention to how cold you are.
“So just make sure you are prepared for a cold night because it can be spectacular and it can want to keep you out.”