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"And, contrary to solar eclipses this phenomenon is completely safe to see through the naked eye... plus you have plenty of time to savour the majestic dance of heavenly bodies since it will last one hour and 43 minutes", ISSA founder Kristian Zarb Adami said.

The rare celestial event - said to be the longest in the 21st century - will see the moon will pass through Earth's darkest shadow and take on a red sheen.

Also known as a blood moon, this occurs when the sun, Earth and moon align perfectly, putting the moon in the Earth's shadow.

That's the nearest Mars has been to Earth since 2003, according to NASA.

A paper written by astrobiologists from Washington State University and the University of London theorizes that conditions on the surface of the Moon could have supported "simple life-forms" right after the Moon was formed 4 billion years ago, and during the lunar volcanic activity that occurred 3.5 billion years ago.

"Theoretically, the moon should disappear since it is blocked by the earth, but this does not happen, because the Earth's inclined position allows light to reach the moon".

"Since the moon will be rising as it goes through its partial phase and approaches totality, it is best to view the eclipse facing east".

Southern star-gazers are about to get a once-in-a-lifetime glimpse at a "blood moon" like no other.

The last total lunar eclipse graced the night skies with its presence on the night of January 31, 2018, and was the spectacular Super Blue Blue Blood Moon combo. A red light will be reflected of the moon's surface, and thus we all see a magnificent red or blood moon.

The balance of Asia and Europe, as well as Africa and Antarctica, will be able to see the entirety of the eclipse.

This is what gives the phenomenon the name "blood moon", though Mark Bailey of the Armagh Observatory in Northern Ireland said the colour can vary greatly.

Cloudy skies, however, can block the view of the moon altogether. Much of that water is thought to have been transported to the lunar surface by asteroids and comets billions of years ago.

"If we can drill down and find evidence of early life it could show us what life was like on the early Earth".

The astronomy expert told Express.co.uk: "Although the moon is in the shadow of the Earth, that is no direct sunlight is expected to hit the moon, the sun illuminates the Earth's atmosphere and that causes some of the sunlight to be scattered in the direction of the moon".

This means that we will be able to gaze at both planet Mars and a total lunar eclipse at the same time.

In the never-ending search for life beyond Earth, astronomers tend to look far, far away, but it seems our closest neighbor may have once been a habitable world, too.

From Newbury, the moon will rise just after 8.50pm, already fully in the Earth's shadow.


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