A lunar eclipse due to take place on 27 July will be visible from Belgium, the Mira Observatory in Grimbergen has said. A lunar eclipse takes place when the moon passes directly behind the earth, which then casts a shadow on its satellite, which normally reflects the light of the sun back to earth (the moon produces no light of its own).
The effect will be visible just after the moon arises at around 21.25 on Friday, and will last until around 01.00 on Saturday morning. The moon will still be visible in shadow, taking on a red-brown hue (see photo) until around 23.15, when it will start to move gradually out of the shadows.
The observatory, which will be specially open from 22.00 to 01.00 on the night, said the last occasion for viewing such a total eclipse was three years ago. All celestial bodies – sun, moon and earth – have to be in perfect alignment for the phenomenon to occur.
Visitors to the observatory will not only be able to view the eclipse in the best available circumstances, but will also be able to see other objects in the night sky using the telescopes and powerful binoculars available. They will also be able to view the passage of the International Space Station.