Longest lunar eclipse to take place on Friday

Cristina Cross
July 27, 2018

Chandra Grahan or Lunar Eclipse 2018 dates and time in India: The longest lunar eclipse of the 21st century will be seen over the July 27 night and the early hours of July 28.

On Friday, the moon will be fully engulfed in the heart of Earth's shadow for 1 hour, 42 minutes and 57 seconds.

Yes, it's a total lunar eclipse, so the moon will be entirely in the Earth's shadow. A lunar eclipse happens when the Moon passes directly behind Earth and into its shadow. The total lunar eclipse can be seen from different parts of the world and will be fully visible in most parts of India.

And there's one more twist: The absolutely closest distance this time around won't come at the precise time of opposition on Friday, when the sun, Earth and Mars are in a ideal line.

However, the true maximum point of this eclipse can not be seen because the moon will be below the horizon at that time. That said, lunar myths form an integral part of Indian culture and religious customs, and enrich the entire anticipation and experience of the eclipse. Slooh, a robotic telescope service, will also live stream the eclipse beginning at 1 p.m.

The International Astronomical Center will organise an event on the Abu Dhabi Corniche, opposite Adnoc, at 8pm, which will include a talk on eclipses and visible planets that can be seen at this time of year. The planet's two small moons, Deimos (left) and Phobos (right), appear in the lower half of the image.

Following the lunar eclipse, a partial solar eclipse will take place on August 11.

The red moon phenomenon, also called a Blood Moon or Luna Rossa, is possible because, while the moon is in total shadow, some light from the sun passes through the Earth's atmosphere and is bent toward the moon. The 103 minutes of totality will make it the longest eclipse of the 21 century! Mars will not look so different to the naked eye but it is in fact a mere 57.6 million away tomorrow night, making it the ideal time for people to glimpse the red planet through the telescope.

It depends partly on "how cloudy or transparent those parts of the Earth's atmosphere are which enable sunlight to reach the moon", he told AFP.

The next total lunar eclipse will occur
The next total lunar eclipse will occur

The eclipse will turn the light color of the moon to deep red.

Lunar eclipses occur as the moon passes through Earth's shadow.

The hashtag #EclipseEating was also trending during the total lunar eclipse described as a "supermoon" that occurred on January 31 this year.

The lunar eclipse will peak out over the horizon at moonrise sometime after 8.30pm BST but the exact moment will differ between cities.

The total lunar eclipse is sometimes called a blood moon, as the moon turns red.

"Hence the appellation of "Blood Moon".

However, there are rarely total eclipses, when both the moon is full and the Earth completely blocks the sun.

The planet Mars, seen here left centre.

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