Lunar Eclipse July 2018

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So far, 2018 has been a year filled with several rare celestial experiences: we got to witness rare lunar events in the form of super moon, blue moon and a total lunar eclipse in January. This happens only when the sun, Earth and moon are aligned, with Earth in the middle.

As the total lunar eclipse occurred at midnight in Dubai, residents stepped outside to witness the celestial event in all its glory. There are several channels which are organising live streaming of the lunar eclipse. Coincidentally, Mars is also at its brightest, putting two bright red objects in our sky. 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".

The blood moon will last for one hour and 43 minutes, just shy of the theoretical limit of a lunar eclipse which is one hour and 47 minutes.

Mars will appear at its brightest as it coincidentally happens to travel closest to Earth, a mere 57.7 million kilometers (35.9 million miles) away, on its elliptical orbit around the sun.

The Executive Director of TNSTC, Soundararajan Perumal said, "This time the moon will be at a distance of 4,60,000, so it's called micro moon as it will be slightly diminished".

The probability of a simultaneous blood moon and total lunar eclipse is very low, reports say.

'They will move through reasonably quickly but if that coincides with the peak moment of the eclipse, they could obscure the moon'.

A super blood moon in Malmö in 2015. Friday's blood moon won't be as big
A super blood moon in Malmö in 2015. Friday's blood moon won't be as big

As Earth's constant companion slowly sailed across the skies, crowds gathered around the world to catch a glimpse of the rare phenomenon.

Millions of Americans watched the first solar eclipse visible from the US since 1979 last August. Sunlight passing through Earth's atmosphere will light the moon in a dramatic fashion, turning it red.

Only those in the Eastern Hemisphere will be able to view the upcoming event, with people in Europe, Africa and Asia getting the best seats for the lunar show. The entire eclipse, including the penumbral and partial phases, will take six hours and 14 minutes from start to finish. Ursa said that it is perfectly safe to look at the moon with the naked eye, or with binoculars or telescopes.

The planet Mars, seen here left centre.

The celestial event comes as a result of the alignment between the moon, Earth and the sun, and will be visible across the United Kingdom and parts of the Eastern hemisphere. In those countries, the moon will appear a deep copper red, because it will be reflecting the light from all the sunrises and sunsets happening around the globe.

But longest lunar eclipse is technically not great, because you can't see the eclipse moving.