Published: Wed, June 27, 2018
Sci-tech | By Brandy Patterson

Blood Moon 2018: How to watch longest lunar eclipse

A blood moon - and the longest lunar eclipse of the 21st century - will occur on the night of June 27 and the morning of June 28.

The Strawberry Moon is the seventh of 13 full moons to be present in our skies this year, and it comes just days after the United Kingdom celebrated the Summer Solstice last week, marking the start of summer and the longest day of the year. Meanwhile, only parts of South America will get to witness the final stages of the eclipse, and North America, the Arctic, and numerous fish in the Pacific Ocean won't get to see it at all. But observers in much of Africa, the Middle East, southern Asia and the Indian Ocean region will get an eyeful, given cooperative weather, according to lunar scientist Noah Petro, of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

The longest possible lunar eclipse is 1 hour and 47 minutes, according to EarthSky.

The total eclipse will include all of the bright colors that a "blood moon" would have.

Recent red skies are apparently down to the specific scattering of light particles through the atmosphere.

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Where and when will it be visible?

For best visibility, it is suggested to view it from locations far away from urban settings, where the sky is the clearest. The eclipse will be visible from eastern South America as it is ending, and from Australia as it is beginning.

The eclipse will reach its peak sometime around 8:22 p.m. UTC or 1:52 AM IST, says the report.

Various Bible passages are cited to back this up, including one in the Book of Joel saying, ' The sun will turn into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and awful day of the Lord comes'.

The eclipse on the night of July 27-28 will last a full 1 hour, 43 minutes.

What Is A Blood Moon?

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Credit: Fred Espenak/NASA GSFC Why is it the longest of the century?

Just a few days after the lunar eclipse, Mars will pass by Earth at its closest point to since 2003. "The moon is simply passing into the Earth's shadow". You can picture the umbra as a cone extending from Earth in the opposite direction to the sun, Petro explained.

Why Is This Particular Lunar Eclipse So Long?

Meanwhile, the January 31 sighting of a Super Blue Blood Moon and a total lunar eclipse occurred in India for the first time after 1982.

During a blood moon, the moon is covered by a red to orange colour rather than completely disappearing when it passes through the shadow cast by Earth.

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