Blood Moon: Best places to see Blood Moon 2018 REVEALED
10:30, Jul 27, 2018
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The longest "blood moon" eclipse this century will coincide with Mars' closest approach in 15 years to offer skygazers a thrilling astronomical double bill on Friday, astronomers say.
Given the moon will be at its furthest distance from Earth, Professor David Coward from the University of Western Australia is forecasting a particularly dramatic lunar eclipse for those in the east.
"Nigeria is set to experience a very spectacular total lunar eclipse on Friday, July 27, weather permitting". And totality, which will occur over Africa, the Middle East and part of Asia, will last an hour and 43 minutes, making it the longest one in 100 years. Lunar eclipsesalso only take place when the moon is full. This phase will be visible only with telescopes. "About an hour later, the partial phase will begin at 2.24am when the moon begins to be covered by the dark Earth's shadow, the Umbra", he said.
Stargazers in Spain are set to enjoy flawless conditions, with weather forecasters predicting that the event will be visible across the entire nation.
While other colours in the spectrum are blocked and scattered by the Earth's atmosphere, red light tends to make it through easier. During an eclipse, though the moon is in the Earth's shadow, some sunlight still reaches it after passing through the Earth's atmosphere. During the eclipse, the Earth will be moving directly between the Sun and the Moon.
"The moon is not always in ideal alignment with the sun and the Earth, so that is why we do not get a lunar eclipse every lunar cycle", Brad Tucker, an astronomer with the Australian National University's Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, said in a statement. The only light which reaches moon and gets reflected back is the one which is refracted by the earth's atmosphere.
Blood Moon: Best places to see Blood Moon 2018 REVEALED
The eclipse will be visible across Europe.
Sky-watchers will also be able to see Mars burning brightly in the sky, looking like an orange-red star.
While the Moon is in the Earth's shadow, it will take on a reddish tint, known as a "Blood Moon" or Red Moon.
Today's event would be followed tomorrow morning by another rare happening - an eclipsed moon that could be visible on one horizon while the Sun rose on the other.
"And because of the elliptical shape of the orbit, it's even closer than normal; it really is a great time to spot Mars".
"The moon will remain in a very faint penumbral shadow for about an hour after that, but this is typically too light a shadow for the naked eye to notice the difference between that and the full moon that follows".
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