Here's How to Watch The Supermoon Eclipse

Stargazers and doomsayers will be watching the skies on Sunday with excitement and trepidation respectively, as the first supermoon lunar eclipse for 33 years takes place.

The spectacular event—also known as a 'blood moon', due to the reddish tint taken on by the lunar body—begins in the early hours of Monday morning for Europe. It's the first such occasion since 1982, and the next supermoon eclipse won't be until 2033, according to NASA. It is a rare combination of two celestial events, a supermoon and a lunar eclipse.

What is a supermoon?

According to NASA, a supermoon occurs when a full moon coincides with the moon making its closest approach to the Earth. The moon orbits the Earth in an elliptical fashion, and the closest point, known as the perigee, results in the moon appearing 14 percent larger than normal. The moon will be roughly 354,056 km (220,000 miles) away from the Earth, rather than the usual 386,243 km (240,000 miles), according to Wired.

What is a lunar eclipse?

The supermoon is coinciding with a lunar eclipse, which occurs when the moon passes directly behind the Earth. The moon can appear red during a lunar eclipse due to red light—which has the longest wavelength—bending around the Earth and shining on the moon, while shorter blue light is scattered.

Why is it special?

The event is the fourth lunar eclipse in two years, the last in a rare tetrad which began on March 27 last year. For some, the event will have biblical significance. Sky News reported that some people interpret blood moons as a sign of the End of Days. Doomsayers have connected previous tetrads in 1493, 1949 and 1967, to the expulsion of the Jews by the Spanish Inquisition, the establishment of the state of Israel and the Arab-Israeli Six Day War respectively. U.S. newspaper the Salt Lake Tribune reported that in Utah—the home state of the Church of the Latter Day Saints, also known as the Mormons—stores stocking emergency survival kits have been overwhelmed as doomsayers prepare for the worst.

When's it happening and where can I watch it?

The partial eclipse will begin at 2.07 a.m. BST on Monday, with the full eclipse commencing around 3.11 a.m. BST. The full eclipse will end around 4.23 a.m. BST, and the partial eclipse will conclude at 5.27 a.m. BST.

If you're in London, you could be in for quite a treat. Accuweather predict that an area of high pressure should provide good visibility in the English capital, and a Met Office spokesperson says that southern and south-eastern England have a good chance of clear skies. The full eclipse will commence around 3.11 a.m. BST and conclude at around 4.23 a.m. BST.

If you're in Edinburgh, you may have some issues. Visibility is predicted to be poor, according to Accuweather, with clouds heading northwards. The best place for Scots to watch it will be the Galloway Forest Park—which is an international Dark Sky Park—according to ITV News.

If you're in Paris, high pressure and clear skies means you should have a pretty clear view of the event. The total eclipse will commence at 4.11 a.m. local time and conclude around 5.23 a.m. local time.

If you're in Berlin, you should be able to see something. Visibility will only be fair compared to good in London and Paris, Accuweather says, as there is a greater chance of patchy fog to form, potentially spoiling the view for some people. The total eclipse will commence at 4.11 a.m.local time and conclude around 5.23 a.m. local time.

If you're in Moscow, you could be disappointed. Accuweather predicts that clouds and showers could get in the way of avid stargazers across parts of eastern Europe, including Ukraine and western Russia. The total eclipse will commence at 5.11 local time and conclude around 6.23 local time.

However, if you can't see it with your own eyes, NASA will be broadcasting a live feed from 1.00 a.m. BST until at least 4.30 a.m. BST (or 2.00 a.m. CEST until 5.30 a.m. CEST).