Sunday, 18 November, 2018

Nigeria to experience longest total lunar eclipse Friday - Scientist

Kahoots with Mars Stuart Murray with the 14 inch Meade LX200-ACF telescope Kahoots with Mars Stuart Murray with the 14 inch Meade LX200-ACF telescope
Kristen Harrington | 27 July, 2018, 13:11

For those in areas from Whanganui to Wellington, there would be just a slim chance of glimpsing the totally-eclipsed moon as the Sun peeked above the horizon.

It has astronomers across the nation excited. The first one called the Super Blue Blood Moon took place on January 31.

An eclipse is what happens when one celestial body obscures the light from another.

Pramod G. Galgali, Director, Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium, said, "Unlike solar eclipses, lunar eclipses can be witnessed without any special equipment". And then there's the International Space Station: NASA's "Spot the Station" website lists nightly opportunities to watch the shining outpost make its way through the sky, customized to your locale.

This co-incidental celestial festival boasts an eclipsed "blood moon" sharing a sky with the Sun tomorrow; Mars coming at its closest point for the next 17 years; and several other planets showing up more brightly overhead.

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The eclipse will start at 11:13pm on Friday and end at 5:30am on Saturday in Bangladesh time.

Lunar eclipses happen when the earth sits directly in between the sun and full moon, blocking the sun's light from hitting the moon and therefore shifting how the night sky appears on Earth. That said, lunar myths form an integral part of Indian culture and religious customs, and enrich the entire anticipation and experience of the eclipse.

In mainland France, the eclipse will be visible from 10 pm - 10.30 pm and it is expected to last until almost 12.30 am.

Even though the Earth will be lined up directly between the moon and the sun, the moon will not be blacked out completely. The partial eclipse will begin at 2:24 P.m. - that's when the Earth's shadow will begin to creep across the moon.

Eskimos always turn their utensils upside down during the time of a lunar eclipse. During a lunar eclipse, the only light that reflects from the surface is refracted by earth's atmosphere, and this light tends to appear reddish, which is why it is known as Blood Moon.

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Venus is now so bright, that it can be seen immediately after sunset if you look west. For a lunar eclipse you just need to be on the right side of the planet.

Dr Gregory Brown, astronomer at the Royal Observatory Greenwhich told The Telegraph: "When the moon rises in the south east at about 20:50 BST (London), it will already be deep within the Earth's shadow and will have the red colour that gives this event its name, the blood moon".

However, the partial eclipse will be visible for nearly four hours, The Press Association reported. Steel says the next one for NZ is due in 2028. It's also a "mini-moon" because the moon is the farthest from Earth and appears small.

North America, much of the Pacific Ocean and most of the Arctic won't see a thing.

Those up the top of the country won't be able to see it. The partial eclipse of the Moon will begin at 23h 54m IST on July 27.

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