Published: Sat, July 28, 2018
Science | By Cecil Little

World gazes at total lunar eclipse, longest of this century

World gazes at total lunar eclipse, longest of this century

The total eclipse would be visible over most of Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa and South America on Friday and Saturday.

Of the 7.4 billion people on Earth, about 7 billion people could - in theory - see the eclipse, except for those in North America and Greenland, where time of day didn't allow.

All eyes will on the sky tonight as the world is to witness the lovely sight of 'blood moon' as the moon moves into the shadow of the earth for the longest lunar eclipse of the 21st century.

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. It will be 15 times brighter than the next brightest star in the sky.

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‘Blood moon’: How to watch the longest lunar eclipse of the century

This will be the second and last lunar eclipse of 2018.

People looking through a telescope at a "blood moon" eclipse in Oloika town in Magadi, Kenya, on July 27, 2018. This is why the duration of this eclipse will be longer than any other lunar eclipse in this century.

This phenomenon takes place when moon is covered in the shadow of the earth.

"That's the special thing about this one, and why it's such an unusual one, and translates into it being the longest possible lunar eclipse".

Date, timings and how to watch the blood moon
Below is an interview with Daniel Cunnama , of the South African Astronomical Observatory about tonight's astronomical event. In addition, the event will also be visible in parts of South-America, parts of Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia.


The eclipse is also known as the blood or red moon because when eclipsed, the moon looks red.

A full moon rises behind the Temple of Poseidon before a lunar eclipse in Cape Sounion, near Athens, Greece, July 27.

A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes behind Earth, so that the Earth blocks the sun's rays from striking the moon.

In fact, in the Book of Revelation chapter 6 verses 11 - 13, where verse 12 says: "And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great natural disaster; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood". Those planning to watch this celestial event should note that unlike solar eclipse, one does not need to cover their eyes with protective filters to view the Blood Moon.

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On July 27 at 10.44 pm, the partial shadow or penumbra of the earth would start touching the moon. During the eclipse, the moon will appear red, giving it the nickname "blood moon".


Our constant companion will also be at the farthest point on its orbit from Earth, making its movement across the sky slower from our perspective, thus spending longer in the dark.

When the moon moves into the conical shaped shadow of the earth, it goes from being illuminated by the sun to being dark.

A reddish tint is, to some degree, common in all lunar eclipses, even partial ones.

"However instead of turning black as you might expect, the atmosphere of the Earth bends the light of the sun onto the moon causing it to turn a deep red colour, hence this event's somewhat ominous moniker". Some light, though, will still reach the moon because it is bent by the earth's atmosphere.

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