Published: Thu, August 02, 2018
Sci-tech | By Patricia Wade

"Blood Moon" or longest total lunar eclipse of the century this Friday


The totality, which, you may recall, is when the Earth's shadow covers the moon and casts the world into darkness, will last one hour and 43 minutes.

The moon which is described by scientists as the Earth's natural satellite turned a striking shade of red or ruddy brown, during the total eclipse.

Mars was also at its closest point to Earth since 2003 last night and will be over the next few days.

Lunar eclipse are sometimes referred to as blood moons as a result of the reddish-orange tint the face of the moon takes on as moves entirely into the shadow of Earth.

If you are one of those who is excited to see the "blood moon" or what is better known as "total lunar eclipse", this is your chance. Some light, though, will still reach it because it is bent by the earth's atmosphere.

For those living in Australia, Africa, Asia, Europe and South America, keep your eyes peeled. During this rare phenomena, the Moon will turn bright red and it will be visible in India as well.

However, the partial eclipse will be visible for nearly four hours.

Robert Massey, deputy executive director of the Royal Astronomical Society, said it was a "very unusual coincidence to have a total lunar eclipse and Mars at opposition on the same night". The fact that the moon appeared so small and took longer to pass through Earth's shadow was also why the eclipse lasted longer.

A blood moon is seen from the Prambanan temple in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, early Saturday, July 28, 2018, during a lunar eclipse.

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"The moon was a lot paler pink than I expected - a lovely sight in the western sky".

The next lunar eclipse will be on January 21, 2019.

Dr Emily Brunsden, director of the University of York's Astrocampus, added that this eclipse was a "micro blood moon".

Where can you see the blood moon in July 2018?

PA has revealed the most commonly googled questions that people have been searching for with regards to the upcoming eclipse.

The eclipse of the moon will not be visible from North America or most of the Pacific.

Our red moon had some company Friday, when Mars was the closest it's been to Earth in 15 years.

The full eclipse will begin at approximately 9:13 p.m. UTC, which is just 5:13 p.m. EST, making it impossible to see from anywhere in the United States, Canada, Central America, or Greenland.

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