World Awaits Longest 'blood Moon' Eclipse of Century

Blood moon

"In the middle of a lunar eclipse it can look as if a red planet has taken up residence near the Earth - they are both eerie and lovely", said Robert Massey of the Royal Astronomical Society in London. The next total lunar eclipse will happen on January 21, 2019, and will be visible from North America, South America, and parts of Africa, Europe and the central Pacific.

Although the lunar eclipse is expected to last 103 minutes, observers in the United Kingdom and Ireland will not be able to catch the start as the moon will still be below the horizon.

The event was visible to much of the world's population and was the longest blood moon of the century - but heavy clouds in the United Kingdom meant the spectacle was obscured for many.

Nigeria to experience longest total lunar eclipse Friday – Scientist

People hoping to see the blood moon in the United Kingdom were left disappointed after the weather took a turn for the worse and obscured the view.

The so-called "blood moon" Friday, when it turns a deep red, will be visible at different times in Australia, Africa, Asia, Europe and South America when the sun, Earth and moon line up perfectly, casting Earth's shadow on the moon.

A partial eclipse was also observed in some areas when the moon entered and left the earth's atmosphere, referred in astronomical terms as the earth's umbral shadow.

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"For those alive today, it´s a unique event", said Sven Melchert, head of a local society of astronomy enthusiasts in Heppenheim, western Germany, cited by the DPA news agency.

North America, much of the Pacific Ocean and most of the Arctic won't see a thing.

The "blood moon" eclipse, as seen from KLCC in Kuala Lumpur July 28, 2018.

July’s ‘blood moon’ will be the longest lunar eclipse of the century
The last time a total lunar eclipse lasted almost as long was on July 16, 2000, with a total duration of one hour and 46 minutes. Essentially, the Earth will pass between the Sun and the moon, casting a shadow on the latter and forming a total eclipse.

An illustration of the stages of the July 27, 2018, total lunar eclipse.

Our red moon will have some company Friday, when Mars is the closest to Earth that it's been in 15 years. These latter events, which occur when the moon passes into Earth's shadow, are safe to view directly with the naked eye, telescopes or binoculars. At that time, the planet will be just 35.8 million miles away, which means it will be making its closest approach since 2003. Coincidentally, Mars is also at its brightest, putting two bright red objects in our sky.

Mars will more likely appear as a very bright star. "Besides, we would not have clear skies at that time", he added. "At most perihelic oppositions, including this one, the planet retreats to the belly of the ecliptic low in the southern sky".

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