Colourful lunar eclipse due Saturday night

Much of Germany will be treated to a colourful lunar eclipse on Saturday evening, when the full moon is put into shadow by the earth coming between it and the sun.

Colourful lunar eclipse due Saturday night
In Jerusalem in February Photo:DPA

It will not be a full lunar eclipse, where the moon is completely hidden, but 80 percent is expected to be hidden, the Hesse-based Association of Friends of the Stars (VdS) reports.

Much of the country is expected to have clear skies too, affording a good view, according to weather services, with only the east being covered by cloud.

The maximum eclipse is expected at around 11:11 pm, when the moon will seem brown or coppery-red, with just a sliver still fully lit by sunlight.

The colours arise because the direct sunlight which usually illuminates the moon will be blocked by the earth, leaving just light which has already bounced off the earth to shine on the moon.

The next partial lunar eclipse which can be seen from Germany is expected on December 31, 2009 but just two percent of the moon will be thrown into shadow. The next full lunar eclipse visible from northern Europe is due on December 21, 2010.