Blood Moon 2018 : Century’s Longest Total Lunar Eclipse to be Seen on 27-28 July

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According to the reports, next month, the world will witness the longest total lunar eclipse of the 21st century. The eclipse, which will last one hour and 43 minutes, will also feature a “blood moon” – The non-scientific term used to refer to the red tinge on a fully eclipsed Moon. The eclipse will last nearly 40 minutes longer than the January 31 Super Blue Blood Moon.

As it is being called, the blood moon, or the ‘full buck moon’, will turn blood red during the eclipse due to the way light bends around Earth’s atmosphere. The moon takes on a deep red to orange colour rather than completely disappearing when it passes through the shadow cast by Earth. This strange effect is known as ‘Rayleigh scattering’ filters out bands of green and violet light in the atmosphere during an eclipse.

During the eclipse, the full buck moon will last longer than normal as it will pass almost directly through Earth’s shadow. At the same time, it will be at the maximum distant point from earth. Therefore, it will take longer to cross Earth’s shadow.

On 27 July, Mars will be in opposition to the Sun, meaning it will be opposite the Sun in Earth’s sky, just 51 days before it passes through perihelion, which is its closest point relative to the Sun in its orbit. As a result, the minimum distance between Mars and Earth will shrink to about 57.58 million kilometres on 30 July.

The eclipse will be visible only in the eastern hemisphere of the world – Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. People in North America and Arctic-Pacific region won’t be able to get a hold of this event this time. In Asia, Australia and Indonesia, the greatest view of the eclipse will be during morning hours. Europe and Africa will witness the eclipse during the evening hours, sometime between sunset and midnight on July 27.

Astronomer Bruce McClure said, “A partial eclipse precedes and follows the century’s longest total lunar eclipse, each time lasting one hour and six minutes. So, from start to finish, the moon takes nearly four hours to cross the Earth’s dark umbral shadow.