‘Blood moon’ dazzles skygazers in century’s longest eclipse

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The fullest eclipse, at 2022 GMT (01:52 IST), will be visible from Europe, Russia, Africa, the Middle East, much of Asia and Australia though clouds could block out the moon.

The eclipse will not be visible from North America or most of the Pacific.

Robert Massey, deputy executive director of the Royal Astronomical Society, said it was a "very unusual coincidence to have a total lunar eclipse and Mars at opposition on the same night". The totality period of the eclipse will last for one hour and 42 minutes, according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

"It starts with a partial eclipse at 7:24 p.m".

Superstitions have been long associated with the lunar eclipse since time immemorial and it was widely believed that our mind and body go through some changes during the eclipse.

"If you were standing on the moon in this eclipse, you would see the sun and then the earth would come in the way and blot out the sun", said Fabian. This is because the moon is at the furthest point in its orbit and will take 3:55 hours crossing the Earth's dark umbral shadow.

The next lunar eclipse will take place on January 21, 2019 but it would not be for so long as the one is going to be tonight.

‘Blood moon’ dazzles skygazers in century’s longest eclipse
‘Blood moon’ dazzles skygazers in century’s longest eclipse

People gather as they wait for the sun to go down and the appearance of the "Blood moon" in Berlin on July 27, 2018.

It happens because, when the sunlight enters Earth's atmosphere which is blocking, the light gets refracted in such a way that the green to violet wavelengths on the visible spectrum scatter more strongly than the red, thus giving the moon a reddish cast.

The longest total lunar eclipse created a spectacle in the sky tonight - with all eyes focused on the waning moon and rising of the blood moon. Those planning to watch this celestial event should note that unlike solar eclipse, one does not need to cover their eyes with protective filters to view the Blood Moon.

This is what gives the phenomenon the name "blood moon", though Mark Bailey of the Armagh Observatory in Northern Ireland said the colour can vary greatly.

The moon and the mars are seen during a lunar eclipse is seen above the cityscape and the television tower in Berlin, Germany, on July 27, 2018. Nearly two weeks after, on August 11, 2018, another partial solar eclipse will take place. Only red light makes it through the atmosphere. The Bible contains references to the moon turning blood and some ultra-Orthodox Jews consider lunar eclipses ominous and a cause for moral contemplation.

Dr Brown said: "The eclipse will already be under way when the moon rises above the south eastern horizon at about 8.50pm and the total eclipse will end by about 10.15pm".

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