Longest Lunar Eclipse of the Century

Longest Lunar Eclipse of the Century

On the night of the total lunar eclipse, Mars and the moon will be roughly six degrees apart in the night sky.

During the eclipse, the moon will pass through Earth's darkest shadow and take on a red sheen, with the phenomenon being described as the "blood moon".

When the three celestial bodies are perfectly lined up, however, the Earth's atmosphere scatters blue light from the sun while refracting or bending red light onto the moon, usually giving it a rosy blush.

Another reason not to miss and catch this astronomical treat is that the next longest total lunar eclipse is not expected to occur before June 9, 2123.

During this week's lunar eclipse, however, the moon will pass close to middle of the disk.

During the Mars opposition, Mars will be about five times brighter than usual!

"The Moon is passing very close to the center of Earth's shadow, so it is passing on a chord that nearly equals the full diameter of the shadow", said Steve Edberg, a recently retired astronomer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Canada-Flintridge. But it can be hard to tell with the naked eye.

The celestial events have been confirmed by the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) Abuja and the United States National Aeronautic Space Agency (NASA).

A
Image The Earth will pass between the sun and the moon for 103 minutes

People in areas experiencing the total eclipse may also want to spend a few moments looking at other parts of the sky for some shooting stars. Those who live in Asia and Australia will be able to see the eclipse between midnight and sunrise on July 28.

The eclipse's totality, when the moon passes through Earth's shadow, will last for 1 hour, 43 minutes, the longest for a lunar eclipse this century.

NASA has given all the details of past and the future lunar eclipses with eclipse diagrams and visibility maps.

The stunning cosmic event of a Blood Moon is caused by an effect called rayleigh scattering.

"Hence the appellation of "Blood Moon".

As the entire eclipse will occur when the moon is fairly close to the horizon, the main thing to ensure is that you have a clear sightline to the south east.

Our constant companion will also be at the farthest point on its orbit from Earth, making its movement across the sky slower from our perspective, thus spending longer in the dark. The partial eclipse will begin at 2:24 P.m. - that's when the Earth's shadow will begin to creep across the moon.

Not all of Australia will be able to see it however, as those over on the east coast will not see the Moon progress out of its shadow.

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