Europe will witness its 1st total lunar eclipse in 685 years

Written by CNN Staff

The last time a total lunar eclipse took place in Europe, the new moon was the second of the month. It was also Nov. 22. And while that event is nearly 600 years away, Europe won’t have that opportunity until Monday night.

The eclipse, a rare treat for North and South America, Eastern Europe and parts of Africa, will start Tuesday evening (early Wednesday morning ET) and will continue until Wednesday night local time.

Skywatchers will have to make use of binoculars or a telescope to view the eclipse, because the Moon will be at its highest in the sky. That means you’ll need a steady hand as well.

According to the International Zenithoscope Club , the last time a complete lunar eclipse took place in Europe was on February 25, 1812. In the US, the last total lunar eclipse was Feb. 28, 1813.

The experience will last a total of 3.8 hours and 39 minutes, in which the Moon will pass from the darkest red to the outer darkest black. The reddish glow is caused by sunlight reflecting off Earth’s atmosphere. That result in a “blood moon,” the effect of which won’t be visible from Europe.

The next time a blood moon will occur in Europe is on September 16, 2015.

Although Monday’s event won’t be as dramatic as a lunar eclipse occurring as a full moon, the rare event should be equally awe-inspiring.

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