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Lunar Eclipse: The Longest Visible ‘Blood Moon Night’ of the Century

Moupiya Dutta
Moupiya Dutta
She finds it interesting to learn and analyze society. she keeps herself updated, emphasizing technology, social media, and science. She loves to pen down her thoughts, interested in music, art, and exploration around the globe.

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A Blood Moon night! On the night of July 27 2018, a Blood Moon will appear around much of the world. The longest total lunar eclipse of this century would be visible, which will last 1 hour, 42 minutes and 57 seconds, following a partial eclipse that precedes, thus a totality of 3 hours and 54 minutes in the earth’s umbral shadow, as confirmed by NASA.

This is the longest lunar eclipse that the world will witness as in comparison to the shortest of the century that occurred on April 2015 which lasted for 4 minutes and 48 seconds and in comparison to the recent lunar eclipse on January 31, 2018, that lasted for 1 hour and 16 minutes.

The eclipse will be visible between sunset and midnight on July 27 from Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, and then between midnight and sunrise on July 28 in much of Asia and Australia.

The Blood Moon

The reason behind the blood moon as explained by Professor Andrew Fabian, Astronomy, University of Cambridge, it is called the blood moon because the light from the sun goes through the earth’s atmosphere on its way to the moon and the earth’s atmosphere turns it red, just as the sun turns red when it goes down.

As the moon takes into the conically shaped shadow of the earth it becomes dark rather being lightened by the Sun. However, some light will surely make its way to the moon since it is bent by the Earth’s atmosphere.

Adding to the information this eclipse will occur on the same night that Earth is passing between the sun and the Mars, coincidentally placing Mars at opposition to the sky, the best Mars opposition since 2003. On July 27, the Sun, Earth, and Moon will be aligned. The moon will be placed opposite the Sun thus producing the 21st century longest lunar eclipse where the Earth’s shadow will fall on the moon’s face. On the same night, the sun, Earth, and Mars will also be aligned, bringing Mars opposite the sun in the sky, just like the full moon.

The longest lunar eclipse will primarily be visible from the world’s Eastern Hemisphere. India will witness the total lunar eclipse that would begin on 10:44 pm on July 27 and will end on 4:58 am on July 28. From 1 a.m. to 2:43 a.m., the eclipse would be at its high time appearing red in color. The next lunar eclipse of such a length is due in 2023.


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