Live: watch the total lunar eclipse

A lunar eclipse occurs when the earth passes between the sun and the moon, casting its shadow on the moon's surface.

Unfortunately, while the lunar eclipse lasts for more than three hours, Ireland will be in full daylight at the time, and the eclipse can only be viewed by the night side of the earth.

However, it is possible to watch events unfold live from the American continent thanks to live feeds from telescopes on the dark side of our planet.

The total lunar eclipse over Jerusalem's Old City on February 21, 2008.

Unlike a solar eclipse, where the sun disappears for a period of several minutes, the moon doesn't vanish during an eclipse - instead, it turns red, leading to what is sometimes called a "blood moon".

This happens for the same reason a red sunset happens: light hits the earth's atmosphere, and has to travel a long way through the air - causing it to bend and scatter.

The red light is more resistant to this effect, so it keeps going long enough to hit the moon.

The last total lunar eclipse was on December 10, 2011 - but over the next two years, we'll have four of them in rapid succession, one every six months. This is called a lunar "tetrad".

The next occurrence that will take place during European night will take place on September 28, 2015, at approximately 2am.

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