Longest total lunar eclipse of the century: What you need to know

Longest total lunar eclipse of the century: What you need to know

The Moon and Mars will be putting on a show this July, even if New Zealand doesn't get to see all of the event being dubbed the longest lunar eclipse of the century.

This summer, two partial solar eclipses will take place on July 12 and August 11. The moon is expected to turn fully dark at around 2:30 p.m.

"The next total lunar eclipse on January 21, 2019, will be only for one hour and two minutes because it will pass to the north of the shadow's centre", Mr Duari added.

A lunar eclipse occurs when the earth comes between the moon and the sun, causing the earth's shadow to cover the moon.

What is a total lunar eclipse? This will cause the moon to move slower than it would if it was closer to earth - so the totality of the eclipse will last for one hour and 43 minutes.

A lunar eclipse, often called a "blood moon", is rare because it requires a flawless alignment of the Earth, moon and the sun.

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The reason this lunar eclipse will be a particularly long one is because the moon will be passing nearly directly through the central part of Earth's shadow, while the moon is at a particularly distant point from Earth in its monthly orbit.

Depending on atmospheric conditions, this could be an especially dark total lunar Eclipse. To help prevent the side effects, one must read Shiva Chalisa during the eclipse time, donate food to the needy and eat Tulsi leaves.

Lunar eclipses are completely safe to view with the naked eye. It is only four minutes shorter than the the longest possible lunar eclipse to occur on earth, according to NASA. Solar eclipses are unsafe to watch without certified, special glasses, but lunar eclipses don't require special head gear. "We will actually be able to see the total eclipse as the Moon is setting, and the Moon will set in total eclipse, which will be a real cool view", says Ian. It was also the second full moon of the month, which is referred to as a blue moon. But during a lunar eclipse, the glow of the moon has a much less intense brightness than the sun.

Not only are total lunar eclipses lovely, but they have the added benefit of being safe. The residents of planet Earth are going to witness yet another landmark event on July 27, 2018.

These days, scientists know better - but still, the upcoming total lunar eclipse is expected to look just as ominous as it did thousands of years ago.

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