Red planet and 'blood moon' pair up to dazzle skygazers

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Although the lunar eclipse is expected to last 103 minutes, observers in the United Kingdom and Ireland will not be able to catch the start as the moon will still be below the horizon.

"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. It definitely is a great year for people who enjoy astronomy!

The next time a total lunar eclipse will last this long will be in the year 2123.

The shining bright white hue of the moon will be transformed into a bewitching deep blood red for United Kingdom observers tonight during the longest total lunar eclipse seen this century. The celestial event, where the moon will line up with the Earth and the sun, will be seen across the United Kingdom and other parts of the Eastern hemisphere. The moon will appear blood red as it will be completely eclipsed by the Earth starting 8:14 PM on Friday. This eclipse will also be a Blood Moon, a phenomenon where the moon appears red in colour.

That's different to a solar eclipse, when the Moon passes between the Earth and Sun, blocking the Sun's light and turning it dark. That's a full 1 hour 43 minutes, which is just four minutes shy of the longest total lunar eclipse possible, according to EarthSky.

The entire eclipse will end at around 12.30am.

The good news about all the Martian dust is that it reflects sunlight, which makes for an even brighter red planet, said Widener University astronomer Harry Augensen.

Although the actual point of opposition will take place on July 27, Mars will be noticeably larger for the majority of the month of July. On the one hand, during its orbit, the Moon will be at its furthest distance from the Earth.

REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci The moon is seen as it begins a total lunar eclipse that will turn the moon red over Buenos Aires April 15, 2014.

Talking to The Express Tribune, Abdul Rashid, director climate data processing centre, Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD) said that the lunar eclipse will be witnessed from Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, South America, Pacific, Atlantic, Indian Ocean and Antarctica.

Schulze-Makuch acknowledges that determining if life arose on the Moon or was transported from elsewhere "can only be addressed by an aggressive future program of lunar exploration".

The early Moon is also likely to have been protected by a magnetic field that could have shielded lifeforms on the surface from harmful solar wind. In London, moonrise is at 20.49, so the moon will already be in the shadow of Earth as darkness falls over the capital.

According to CNN, the moon will be in ideal alignment with the sun and Earth, with the moon in the middle of the Earth and the sun.

Earlier it was reported that NASA showed a colourful picture of the moon taken from the ISS an astronaut stationed there.

A total lunar eclipse occurs when the earth positions itself between the sun and a full moon, according to Travel+Leisure.

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