Red Alert: Mars And "Blood Moon" Pairing Up To Dazzle Skygazers

Gwen Vasquez
July 27, 2018

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.

Just how spectacular may depend on weather conditions - astronomers are hoping for clear conditions without too much haze, which could obscure the moon and Mars until they rise higher in the sky.

Chandra Grahan or Lunar Eclipse 2018 India: The Blood Moon 2018 is the second lunar eclipse of 2018.

"Since, colour red has the longest wavelength, it passes through the atmosphere and reaches moon, while all other colours get scattered away", said professor of astrophysics, Patrick Dasgupta, from Delhi University.

Also, timeanddate.com reported on all eclipses worldwide from 1900 to 2100.

After 2.43am, the moon will begin to emerge out of its shadow, marking the end of the eclipse at 3.49am on 28 July.

And last but not least: Mars just happens to be in opposition on Friday night as well.

What makes the celestial event more special is that it will coincide with the fiery planet, Mars, coming closest to the earth in 15 years, causing it to appear the brightest in the evening sky in its reddish-orange hues.

St Helens Star

Viewers will need no protective eye gear to observe the spectacle - unlike when watching solar eclipse.

But the effects of the stunning astronomical event are already visible, and a British Airways plane has been pictured with the glowing shades of the celestial body in the background on Thursday evening. It should also be at least partially visible from Europe, Australia, South America and most of eastern Asia, although the total eclipse phase will not last as long.

"It starts with a partial eclipse at 7:24 p.m". The greatest eclipse occurs at 9:22 pm CET (12:52 am IST).

The longest total lunar eclipse of this century occurs Friday.

The weather forecast for tomorrow is now predicting patchy cloud but due to the length of this eclipse most people should be able to catch a glimpse at the very least. During this week's lunar eclipse, however, the moon will pass close to middle of the disk.

And finally - the Moon is near apogee (the most distant point in its orbit) around the July full moon, Edberg said.

Since moon has no natural light of its own, it is visible from the earth only when sunlight reflects off it. But a total eclipse occurs only when the Umbra completely covers the moon's surface. The moon will be below the horizon and out of sight in the United States, Canada, Mexico and other North American countries during the eclipse. The Earth's shadow appears red because of its atmosphere.

To give the blood moon its technical name, it is a lunar eclipse - caused by the Earth passing between the moon and the sun.

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