Skywatchers looking forward to complete lunar eclipse

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The moon will enter the semi-shade zone at 21.15 (UAE time) on Friday, while the partial eclipse will begin at 22.24 as the eclipse transforms into a total one at 23.30. The total eclipse will last nearly one hour and 43 minutes. In fact, this phenomenon of the moon appearing small is called micro moon. "The most spectacular part about a total lunar eclipse is that when the moon is fully in Earth's shadow, it turns red". Depending on the weather conditions in your area, it may be rusty, brick-colored or blood-red.

"The reason that the moon turns red is because atmospheric scattering causes red light to pass through the atmosphere and the composition of the atmosphere can change if volcanic eruptions or forest fires occur", said Tom Kerss, an astronomer with the Royal Observatory Greenwich.

In Sweden the spectacle will start at 9pm on south-eastern Gotland, when the moon climbs above the horizon. Friday's blood moon won't be as big.

A super blood moon in Malmö in 2015. Friday's blood moon won't be as big
A super blood moon in Malmö in 2015. Friday's blood moon won't be as big

"You could use a telescope but, to be frank, it will be just as dramatic to watch it without aids as the red moon slowly rises in the sky over Britain and the shadow of the Earth passes from its surface".

The period of complete eclipse - known as "totality", when the moon appears darkest - will last from 1930 to 2113 GMT.

EarthSky.org has a map showing more exact locations, and TimeandDate.com has timings based on your location.

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However, not all lunar eclipses will lead to a "bloody" show.

The next time a similarly extended eclipse will happen again is in 2025.

Check this page closer to 3 p.m. Friday for a look at how the world is viewing the lunar eclipse. CBSN, CBS News' 24-hour online streaming platform, will stream coverage featuring reports from CBS News foreign correspondent Debora Patta from Johannesburg, South Africa, and analysis from scientists and experts starting at 1:00 p.m. ET.

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On the same day as the eclipse, the planet Mars will be at its brightest as it travels close to Earth. Won't the sky be too bright for us to see all of this?

Hundreds of people in Australia paid to watch the eclipse from the Sydney Observatory before sunrise.

"Despite its glorious girth, northern observers will pay a price during this juicy Mars apparition", Sky & Telescope contributing editor Bob King said. Next week on Tuesday, be on the lookout for Mars. In 2003, Mars came closest to our planet in nearly 60,000 years.

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"We have been looking forward to seeing the blood moon and this is a sight one shouldn't miss". Mars is also safe to view with the naked eye.

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