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The Longest Lunar Eclipse Of The Century Is Due July: Here’s How To Catch It

Jul 04, 2018 06:48 PM EDT
Bloody Moon
The Earth will witness the longest lunar eclipse in the century on Friday, July 27. A lunar eclipse, also known as a bloody moon, is when the sun, Earth, and moon align to give the moon a reddish tint.
(Photo : Kerry Barbour | Pixabay)

The longest lunar eclipse of the century is slated to happen on Friday, July 27, and nearly the whole world will be able to witness the event.

However, those who live in the United States will have to travel to catch a glimpse of the once-in-a-century lunar eclipse.

A Historically Long Eclipse

A lunar eclipse is when the sun, Earth, and moon align and the planet's shadow is cast on the moon, giving it an eerie red hue. Also known as a bloody moon, it can be a total eclipse or a partial eclipse, which is when only a slice of the moon is affected by the Earth's shadow.

On July 27, the total eclipse will last for one hour and 43 minutes, while the partial eclipse will stretch for three hours and 55 minutes, according to data from NASA.

Dr. Amanda Bosh, an astronomy professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, tells Time that the moon is going to be at its furthest spot from the Earth during the eclipse. This makes it move more slowly than usual, prolonging the duration of the eclipse.

When And Where It's Visible

In the United States, the eclipse will occur in the daytime, so Americans will miss out on seeing this very special lunar eclipse live. Instead, people who live in the United States can watch it on a webcast or schedule a trip to a destination that offers a great glimpse of the cosmic show.

Time says that the event can be seen all over the world in regions in Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, South America, and the Middle East. The best views of the total eclipse will be in eastern Africa and the Middle East, as well as certain parts of Europe and Asia.

Skygazers will have to step out to catch the total eclipse from 7:30 p.m. UTC to 9:13 p.m. UTC, according to Popular Mechanics. Unlike solar eclipses, people don't have to use special tools to spot lunar eclipses.

An Eventful Night

Aside from the blood moon, another red-tinted sight will also be very bright that same night, according to Space. The Red Planet reaches its opposition, exactly opposite the sun in Earth's sky, on July 27, the same night of the eclipse.

A few days later on July 31, Mars will reach its closest point to Earth in 15 years. The neighboring planets will only be 35.8 million miles away from each other and Mars will appear 10 times brighter than it usually does on this night.

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