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Skywatchers will be treated to a rare lunar eclipse tonight as the moon rises in the Earth's shadow.

If it's a cloudless night, viewers will see the moon turn blood red for 100 minutes as soon as it rises after sunset.

It will be the longest total lunar eclipse for 12 years.

The dramatic event will be visible from across the UK, except northern Scotland, with the show beginning for Londoners at around 9.13pm.

It will begin at 6.24pm and end at midnight, but as sunset is at 9.19pm in the UK, we will miss the early stages, according to Nasa.

However, night owls in east Africa, the Middle East, central Asia and western Australia will see the whole event.

The Sydney Observatory says the eclipse will begin at 3.25am and last until after 5am.

Scientists say the eclipse can be safely observed with the naked eye.

During a total eclipse, the Earth and sun line-up and our planet casts a shadow across the moon.

Sunlight that has passed through the Earth's atmosphere makes the moon appear red, brown or black.

The moon changes colour because blue light - and other short wavelengths - scatter more in the Earth's atmosphere, with more red light getting through.

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