'Blood moon' to appear for 21st Century's longest lunar eclipse

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"The lunar eclipse and Blood Moon is a spectacle worth witnessing from a good location, even if you don't have a DSLR camera or telephoto lens", said Noton. An eclipse does not occur on every full moon because the moon's plane is tilted at an angle to that of the earth's.

Views will be best out in the countryside away from light pollution.

If you're in a place where you won't be able to see the eclipse in person, there are still ways to watch it.

Blood moons may be fairly common, but the sheer duration of this spectacle will give the best chance yet of capturing the flawless photo.

The lunar eclipse 2018 will also be a Blood Moon, where the moon will take a reddish hue. A lunar eclipse is when the earth gets between the sun and the full moon. The Blood Moon occurs when the moon is passing between the Earth and the sun.

Thanks to the moon's more volcanically active past, they pointed out, there may have been two periods (one 4 billion years ago, just after the moon formed, and the next 3.5 billion years ago) when the moon may have been a bit more habitable for periods of a few million years.

It sounds impossible - an eclipse occurs when the Sun, Earth and Moon are in a straight line - meaning you couldn't see the Moon and the Sun at the same time.

As this theory goes, the super-heated doughnut of molten, vaporized rock and liquid - called a synestia - cooled, then the moon emerged, after which the remaining cloud of vapor condensed to form the Earth.

In fact it is caused by sunlight being filtered through the Earth's atmosphere so that red colours predominate when it reaches the lunar surface.

What time is the Blood Moon eclipse this week?

"Less dark eclipses may show the moon as dark grey or brown.as rust-colored, brick-red, or, if very bright, copper-red or orange".

The stellar alignment will result in the moon disappearing into the Earth's shadow and reappearing as the ominous Blood Moon. The totality phase, where the Earth's shadow falls on the Moon, will start at 1 am and end at 2.43 am.

"Mars will be 15 times brighter than the brightest star in the sky on Friday", Moore said.

The neighboring planet will appear unusually large and bright, a mere 57.7 million kilometers from Earth on its elliptical orbit around the sun. Cloudy skies, however, can block the view of the moon altogether. At the distance of the moon this shadow appears like the bull's eye at the centre of a dartboard.

It noted that there would be total lunar eclipse on July 27, 2018 and January 21, 2019; partial lunar eclipse on July 16/17, 2019; transit mercury eclipse on November 21, 2019; and penumbral lunar eclipse January 10, 2020.

When the moon rises in the southeast at 8:44 pm the eclipse will have already started, and be in a partial phase.

EarthSky notes that the longest possible lunar eclipse is 1 hour and 47 minutes.

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