Skywatchers Looking Forward To Complete Lunar Eclipse

Skywatchers Looking Forward To Complete Lunar Eclipse

Grab your telescope and don't miss out the rare chance to witness the longest lunar eclipse of the 21st century in the early hours of July 28. The first phase of the eclipse will begin from 11:54 pm IST on July 27, when moon will be cast in earth's shadow. "But when you get really deep lunar eclipses, like we've had a few of over the last couple of years, a really great way to promote that is if you attach the moniker onto it that it's a "blood red" moon and that really engages people to go out and see it".

Then there are partial eclipses, where just part of the moon passes through the dark umbra, or shadow. The moon passed in front of the sun, casting a 70-mile-wide shadow.

"In the middle of a lunar eclipse it can look as if a red planet has taken up residence near the Earth - they are both eerie and lovely and I'll certainly be looking out for it!" 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 flawless time for people to glimpse the red planet through the telescope. The July 27 eclipse will last for 1 hour and 43 minutes, according to NASA.

The eclipse will be visible in the regions covering Australia, Asia, Russia - except the northern part, Africa, Europe, east of South America and Antarctica. "Unfortunately among people there are lot of false beliefs or superstitions about eclipses".

This full moon in July is also known as the Full Buck Moon and the Thunder Moon, occurring when a male deer's antlers are in full growth and at a time of frequent thunderstorms, according to the Old Farmer's Almanac.

Mars will more likely appear as a very bright star. A sky enthusiast from Chennai, Eashwar Mathur said, "It's going to be fun since it's a blood moon and also the longest eclipse".

Dr Emily Brunsden, director of the University of York's Astrocampus, added that this eclipse was a "micro blood moon".

NASA diagram visualizing the process of a total lunar eclipse
NASA diagram visualizing the process of a total lunar eclipseImage NASA

However, the Royal Astronomical Society says the best time to see the moon will be immediately after it rises.

For lunar eclipses, there are two sub-categories: total and partial.

Mars will appear brighter in the sky than the moon, separated by just five degrees - about the width of three fingers held at arm's length. The next lunar eclipse will take place in January of next year and will last 1 hour and 2 minutes.

So how do you see it for yourself if you're located in North America?

Unlike a solar eclipse, it's completely safe to watch a lunar eclipse with the naked eye.

In less than six months, another total lunar eclipse will take place directly over the Western Hemisphere.

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