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Total eclipse of moon visible in Shanghai on Saturday night

Weather will be good for people in Shanghai to observe a total lunar eclipse, the best time in 10 years, this Saturday night, an astronomy expert said.

The eclipse, visible without any optical devices, will begin around 7:30pm and end six hours later at 1:30am on Sunday.

According to the weather forecast, there will be clouds on Saturday night, but they will have affect the observation because the eclipse is going to last several hours, said Tang Haiming, an official with the Shanghai Astronomical Observatory on Sheshan Hill in western Shanghai.

"If you can see the moon, you don't need a telescope to watch the whole process of the lunar eclipse," Tang said.

Passengers on 125 flights leaving or coming to Shanghai during the eclipse will also be able to see it in the air. Fifty-six planes will fly over Shanghai during the best viewing time between 10:06pm and 10:57pm when the moon is totally eclipsed.

People will have a better view on the planes because they are above the clouds, but their viewing moment is also short, Tang said.

Shanghai saw a full lunar eclipse on January 10, 2001 and the next total eclipse will occur in 2018. Local residents missed a lunar eclipse earlier this year, on June 15, as the sky was overcast.

A lunar eclipse occurs when the sun, Earth and moon line up precisely, with the Earth casting a shadow on the moon. The moon is still visible because residual light is deflected toward it by the atmosphere.

As most of this refracted light is in the red part of the spectrum, the moon is observed with a kind of red glow.


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