Longest lunar eclipse to take place on Friday

Adjust Comment Print

The partial eclipse will begin at 2:24 P.m. - that's when the Earth's shadow will begin to creep across the moon.

In Singapore, this lunar event is expected to start from 1.14 am and end at 5.13am, with the total eclipse at 3.30 am.

Although Mars is visible in the night sky all year round, it will be extremely bright on July 27.

Despite being bigger and brighter than usual, Mars will also appear fuzzier because of seasonal dust storms that are kicked up as the planet warms when it comes closer to the sun. From Whanganui to Wellington there is just a slim chance of glimpsing the totally-eclipsed Moon as the Sun peeks above the horizon.

"Although there is a lunar eclipse visible from New Zealand every couple of years, on average, being located in the right place to see a celestial peculiarity like a selenelion is much less frequent, and very few people have witnessed one", said Dr Duncan Steel, of Otago's Centre for Space Science Technology.

A total lunar eclipse happens when the Sun, Earth and Moon are perfectly aligned. That's because some light from the sun bends around the edge of the Earth where the blue and green wavelengths are scattered by our atmosphere.

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

"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.

St Helens Star
Don't miss tomorrow's Blood Moon — the longest lunar eclipse of the 21st century

The "totality" period, when light from the Moon is totally obscured, will last for one hour, 43 minutes.

When the planet reaches its closest point to the Earth on 30 July, it will be 57.6m km - the closest since 2003. It will be visible in its entirety from the Indian Ocean region, westernmost China, India, the Middle East, central Asia, Turkey and the eastern half of Africa.

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.

What time will you be able to see it? During this time, the moon will be under the complete shadow of the Earth for one hour and forty-three minutes.

Astronomers' telescopes aimed at the blood moon have seen this happening, as well as another mysterious phenomenon - seemingly random spots of heat, often concentrated around craters.

Unlike a solar eclipse, a lunar eclipse is quite safe to look at with the naked eye.

Because the Moon is far away from Earth relatively speaking - its orbit is an ellipse, so it moves closer and further and looks larger and smaller from Earth.

The chandra graham or lunar eclipse will take place on July 27.