Sunday, 18 November, 2018

Date, timings and how to watch the blood moon

Blood moon to appear for 21st century's longest lunar eclipse A full moon rises behind the Temple of Poseidon before a lunar eclipse in Cape Sounion near Athens Greece July 27. Reuters Alkis Konstantinidis
Kristen Harrington | 28 July, 2018, 04:12

The total eclipse is expected to last a record-breaking one hour and 43 minutes, seen in Italy from 21:30, when the moon enters the shadow of the Earth and turns red, until 23:13, when it will start to emerge and regain its normal appearance. The entire event will last for 103 minutes across the world.

Dr Duncan Steel, of Otago's Centre for Space Science Technology, said the colouration of this so-called "blood moon" - a spectacle shrouded in ancient superstition - was due to some sunlight leaking through Earth's atmosphere and reaching the moon.

A look at what you need to know about the longest lunar eclipse of the century, the "blood moon" eclipse, and why you may have to travel to see it.

Blood moon to appear for 21st century's longest lunar eclipse
The different phases of moon from Kochi Kerala

The best vantage point to watch the blood moon will be anywhere with an unobstructed view to the west. This brings the Moon completely in the shadow of the Earth making it darker. A blood moon is created when the Earth passes between the sun and the moon.

Andrew Jacob, curator at the Sydney Observatory, said hundreds of people had paid to watch the event from the observatory. There will be another guest during the eclipse, as Mars will glow brightly, giving some unforgettable moments to skywatchers all over the world.

New Zealand will get a short glimpse at the longest lunar eclipse of the century on Saturday morning.

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"Tonight is a definite treat for any astronomer's eyes".

At the same time, Mars is travelling closer to Earth than it has done since 2003, so some observers may see what looks like an orange-red star - and is in fact the red planet.

"On the left, you have the marvelous incredible Colosseum, at least a detail, and the rest of the scenery is just showing the moon", Gianluca Masi of the Virtual Telescope Project said during the organization's livestream of the event, which shared the view of a telescope located at the ancient Roman Forum. "We here at SASTRA are gearing up to get moonstruck", Rakesh Ramesh, a student from Sastra college said.

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The Russian president said he would be having meetings with the U.S. leader as part of global events, including at the G20 summit. Putin said Friday he's ready to invite Trump to Moscow and ready to visit Washington if conditions are right.

While lunar eclipses are treated with curiosity and wonder today, it wasn't always so.

"There is no reason to believe that blood moons foretell doom", said Massey. But longest lunar eclipse is technically not great, because you can't see the eclipse moving.

The eclipse will be visible to people in Europe, Africa and the Middle East on July 27 between sunset and midnight.

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"Nigeria is set to experience a very spectacular total lunar eclipse on Friday, July 27, weather permitting".

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