Spectacular ‘Blood Moon’ In July, Earth To Witness It’s Longest Lunar Eclipse


New Delhi: Come July 2018 and people across the world will stand witness to a rare astronomical event. Called the Blood Moon, this lunar event will appear on the intermediary night of July 27-28. As per the report, this total lunar eclipse will be longest one in the century. Skywatchers around the planet witnessed the Super Blue Blood Moon last time on January 31 this year. That lunar event was a combination of Supermoon, blue moon and blood moon.

Astronomers expect the total eclipse to last for a full 1 hour and 43 minutes, with the partial eclipse – which occurs before and after the total eclipse phase – lasting for 3 hours and 55 minutes.A lunar eclipse occurs when the Sun, Earth, and Moon are directly aligned, and the Moon’s orbit brings it directly into Earth’s shadow.

This particular eclipse will last so long because the Moon will pass directly into the darkest region of Earth’s shadow, known as the umbra, which will also give the Moon a reddish “blood moon” sheen.

July’s full moon will happen at the same time as the Moon’s apogee – which is when the Moon hits its furthest point from Earth in its monthly orbit, according to EarthSky.

It will be the smallest and furthest full moon of the year, which means the Moon will take more time to pass through Earth’s dark shadow, making the eclipse last longer.

The longest possible lunar eclipse is 1 hour and 47 minutes, according to EarthSky. Here’s when to catch it (times in UTC):

6:24 pm: The penumbral eclipse begins when the Earth’s penumbra starts to touch the moon
7:30 pm: The total eclipse can be seen when the moon is fully red
8:22 pm: Maximum eclipse
9:13 pm: Total eclipse ends

Just a few days after the lunar eclipse, Mars will pass by Earth at its closest point to us since 2003.

On July 31, the Red Planet will be only 35.8 million miles (57.6 million km) away from Earth, making it clearly visible to the naked eye.

Stargazers in the Eastern Hemisphere will easily be able to see both Mars and the blood moon on July 28 and 29.

What is a Blood Moon?

The blood moon is rare astronomical event caused due to a Lunar eclipse, which is when the earth comes between the sun and moon. The moon, as a result of this, is under the shadow of earth and the sun casts a red light on it. Hence, the moon is covered by a reddish-orange colour. This is because the sunlight passes through the earth’s atmosphere, which filters out a certain colour in a phenomenon known as Rayleigh scattering.

Where will be the Blood Moon or Century’s longest lunar eclipse visible?

As per express.co.uk reports, this lunar eclipse will be primarily visible from the world’s Eastern Hemisphere – Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. The only place across the Atlantic to see the blood moon will be South America, which will catch the last glimpse of the event.

Mars to be closest in 15 years
Apart from the rare blood moon on July 27-28, Mars will also observe the closest distance from Earth in 15 years during the lunar eclipse. Mars will be in complete opposition to the Sun on July 27, as a result of which the minimum distance between Mars and Earth will shrink to about 57.58 million kilometres on July 30. As per reports, Mars will shine brightly at magnitude -2.8, which is twice as bright as Jupiter. The last time the Red Planet was so close to the Earth was in 2003.

The big celestial event which was the first lunar eclipse of 2018 happened on January 31.

According to NASA, Supermoon is the phenomenon when the Moon is at or near its closest point to Earth, Blue Moon is when the second full moon happens in a month, and Blood Moon occurs when the red tint Earth’s shadow casts on the Moon during a lunar eclipse.