A total lunar eclipse will be visible in Belgium on Friday from 9.30 p.m., the Royal Observatory of Belgium announced on Tuesday. The Francophone Federation of Amateur Astronomers of Belgium (FFAAB) will organise activities to view the phenomenon.
However, the full cycle of the lunar eclipse will not be visible in Belgium, the Observatory noted. The moon will rise in the southeast at around 9.30 p.m. and will already be totally eclipsed. It will have a reddish look and will be visible until the end of the total eclipse, expected at 11.13 p.m. The end of the cycle, i.e. the gradual emerging of the moon from the dark and the shadows, will be visible until 00.19 a.m. on Saturday.
The Observatory has warned that the full lunar eclipse will be difficult to watch. The country will be plunged into the darkness of night from 10.17 p.m. only. This will have an effect on the phenomenon since daylight will still be present before then. Additionally, to watch the eclipse correctly, an unencumbered view, a high position and good weather are required.
The phenomenon is not rare, notes the Observatory. A full lunar eclipse appeared over Belgium on the 28th of September 2015.
Four planets will also be visible in the Belgian sky, according to the FFAAB. Jupiter, the biggest planet in the solar system, will be visible from sunset, using a simple pair of binoculars. Using a telescope, amateur astronomers will also be able to look at Saturn, Venus and Mars, which will be exceptionally aligned with the Sun and the Earth.
The FFAAB will establish observation posts, namely in Brussels and Dinant, for the occasion.