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Lunar eclipse: Skygazers await century's longest 'blood moon'

Lunar eclipse: Skygazers await century's longest 'blood moon'

The professor, however, said that the next total lunar eclipse that would be visible in Nigeria would occur on January 21, 2019. Hailed as the longest lunar eclipse in hundred years, it comes at a time when the moon is at its farthest point from the earth (apogee), causing it to go slower and the eclipse to last longer.

The eclipse will be visible in its entirety from the Indian Ocean and surrounding countries, from India to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. But there still be reasonable views for people in the rest of Africa, Europe, other parts of Asia, Australia and the eastern tip of South America. The Moon will rise in a totally-eclipsed state and we will see about three quarters of the total phase of the eclipse.

"On the 27th July, Mars will be at its closest to the Earth, with the moment of opposition itself being in the early morning, although here in the United Kingdom we'll have to wait until nighttime". There isn't anything particularly scientific about it, but it makes for wonderful viewing and photographs.

Why does the moon turn red in a Blood Moon eclipse?

Only light that is refracted through Earth's atmosphere manages to reach the moon, with everything outside of the red wavelengths being scattered, leaving the moon looking blood red.

A lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth lines up between the sun and the moon, blocking out the sun's light and casting a shadow on the lunar surface.

This will be the first central lunar eclipse since June 15, 2011. This light appears reddish for the same reason that a sunset or sunrise does.

St Helens Star

Apart from it being century's longest lunar eclipse, Mars will be very close to the moon on the same night.

Mesopotamians regarded the blood moon as an omen that the king would be attacked.

Stardome Observatory astronomy educator Josh Kirkley said New Zealanders wanting to see the blood moon should get a clear view of the western horizon and keep their eyes peeled from 6.25am until the moon sets at 7.20am.

That means the Red Planet will appear at its nearest and brightest.

The eclipse will start at 11:13pm on Friday and end at 5:30am on Saturday in Bangladesh time. And you can enjoy the pairing here in our night sky. "But, it will reach closest to the earth on 31 July, when it will appear the brightest since 2003", said a ministry of earth sciences official. The next time that record will be broken is in 2287.

On the same day as the eclipse, the planet Mars will be at its brightest as it travels close to Earth.

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