How to see this weekend’s blood moon lunar eclipse

Muriel Hammond
July 27, 2018

Around the world, people will be able to view the longest lunar experience of the 21st century, lasting one hour and 43 minutes.

This will also be the longest lunar eclipse in 100 years‚ says Case Rijsdijk of the Astronomical Society of Southern Africa (ASSA). The moon will be in ideal alignment with the sun and Earth on Friday, with the moon on the opposite side of the Earth from the sun.

In addition, the Earth is closer to the Sun during the northern hemisphere summer so its shadow is larger than average, he said.

This week marks the beginning of Mars' stint in opposition - meaning it will be on the opposite side of Earth from the sun.

The eclipse will turn the light color of the moon to deep red.

The moon will begin to glide through the earth's shadow from 11.54pm on the intervening night of 27-28 July.

For those in areas from Whanganui to Wellington, there would be just a slim chance of glimpsing the totally-eclipsed moon as the Sun peeked above the horizon.

While lunar eclipses are treated with curiosity and wonder today, it wasn't always so.

Head media and corporate communications of the Agency, Dr. Felix Ale, told The Guardian: "The Eclipse in Nigeria will start around 6:44pm as partial eclipse and developed into a total eclipse around 7:30pm".

Watch The Longest Lunar Eclipse Of The Century In Singapore On July 28

A Lunar Eclipse (Chandra Grahan) is when one can't see the moon at night because its position is relative to the sun and earth ensures that light doesn't fall on the part of it we can see. "Since, colour red has the longest wavelength, it passes through the atmosphere and reaches moon, while all other colours get scattered away", said professor of astrophysics, Patrick Dasgupta, from Delhi University.

The Earth's red shadow will begin creeping across the moon at 1:15 p.m.

However, he said it was still worth seeing as the next blood moon would not be visible in New Zealand until May 2021. The fact that the moon appears so small and takes longer to pass through Earth's shadow is also why the eclipse lasts longer.

North America will nearly completely miss out on the blood moon.

How does the Moon turn red?

. When Earth completely blocks the sunlight, the moon looks red or orange.

Partial solar eclipses occur here every year or two.

The eclipse will be visible in its entirety from the Indian Ocean and surrounding countries, from India to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Even if you can't see Friday night's eclipse in real life, you can watch it on your computer.

New Zealanders are about to witness a rare celestial event - a selenelion. Also, Lunar eclipses are safe to view without any eye protection or special precautions, as they are dimmer than the full Moon.

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