Published: Wed, July 04, 2018
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

Century's longest lunar eclipse to be visible from India

The next total lunar eclipse will occur on July 27, 2018. To get you ready for this breathtaking astronomical event, here's everything that you need to know about the upcoming 2018 Blood Moon eclipse.

For a total lunar eclipse of a long duration to occur, the moon has to pass through the central part of the Earth's shadow.

"No special filters are required to protect your eyes like those used for solar eclipses". The moon is expected to turn fully dark at around 2:30 p.m.

While many people will be able to see partial views of the eclipse, areas in eastern Africa, the Middle East and some parts of Europe and Asia will have some of the best views of the moon turning red and when the totality begins to recede, astronomers tell TIME.

"After this period, the moon will remain partially eclipsed till 3:49 am of July 28".

The solar eclipse will have minimum effect in India as it will be partially visible. According to the Conversation, Babylonian scholars once thought lunar eclipses were a sign of bad fortune coming to the king.

Mars close approaches happen about every 26 months, and is the point where Mars and Earth are closest to each other in their orbits around the Sun. This month, the moon will go through the center of the shadow, extending the duration of the eclipse. Solar eclipses are typically only seen by a small selection of the earth's population because the shadow cast by the moon is comparatively smaller than that cast by the earth.

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So, rather than darkened skies, viewers will be treated to a ruddy red visage that's often dubbed a "blood moon" (though the most finicky reserve this term for a series of four consecutive lunar eclipses).

Explaining the celestial phenomenon, Mr Duari said a lunar eclipse takes place only at full moon.

During a total lunar eclipse, the Moon's disk can take on a dramatically colourful appearance from bright orange to blood red and more rarely dark brown to very dark gray, depending upon the part of the Earth's shadow it would be passing through.

Eerie as it may be, the moon's face appears rouged for the same reason the sky looks blue to our eyes.

"The next total lunar eclipse on January 21, 2019, will be only for one hour and two minutes because it will pass to the north of the shadow's centre", Mr Duari added.

"Because it's the full moon, the Moon sets when the Sun rises".

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