Backyard astronomers and anybody interested in seeing something rare will be looking up Sunday, January 20 shortly after 8:30 p.m. and until just before midnight to catch a glimpse of the lunar eclipse.

James Durbano with the Big Sky Astronomical Society says unlike a solar eclipse, a lunar eclipse if perfectly safe to look at.

He says another big difference is you'll still be able to see the moon, which will change colour, but won't be completely blocked out.

"You can still see the moon a little bit during a lunar eclipse, because a little bit of orange-y, reddish colour light does make it's way onto the surface of the moon, and that's why it's illuminated with that orange-y red colour. That light is coming from the sun, it is being filtered and bent through the earth's atmosphere."

Durbano says lunar eclipses are fairly common and are more easily viewed because anyone on the night side of earth will see it, unlike solar eclipses where you need to be in specific spots to view the moon blocking the sun completely.

 

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