'Blood moon' to appear for 21st century's longest lunar eclipse on Friday

'Blood moon' to appear for 21st century's longest lunar eclipse on Friday

Whether you are scrambling to pack for a holiday or swigging an ale in your local beer garden, take a moment on Friday evening to look up.

The much expected total lunar eclipse or rather "blood moon" will be here with us.

This happens because blue light undergoes stronger atmospheric scattering, so red light will be the most dominant color highlighted as sunlight passes through our atmosphere and casts it on the moon.

Pastor Begley also referred to the frequency of natural disasters as being linked to the Blood Moon.

The eclipse will be visible in the regions covering Australia, Asia, Russia - except the northern part, Africa, Europe, east of South America and Antarctica.

The lunar event will be seen across Ireland and the United Kingdom and other parts of the Eastern hemisphere.

Mercury was now not as visible as it had been, but Venus could still be viewed more clearly than normal.

The term "blood moon" may be a rather sinister description for a total eclipse of the moon, but that doesn't take away from the special event which will unfold in the skies on July 27.

Although it won't look almost as large as the blood moon, Mars will be its largest in size if you're looking through a telescope and close to its maximum brightness in our sky.

The eclipse will last for 1 hour and 43 minutes and will start around 11.54 pm IST on July 27.

In India, there are several myths associated with the eclipse.

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'Blood moon' to appear for 21st century's longest lunar eclipse on Friday

The best time to get out and see the moon slowly drifting into darkness is about 2.24am, when the moon will be partially eclipsed - a dark spot slowly growing across its surface as the night progresses.

Andrew Fabian is with the University of Cambridge.

"The Moon is passing very close to the center of Earth's shadow, so it is passing on a chord that nearly equals the full diameter of the shadow", said Steve Edberg, a recently retired astronomer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Canada-Flintridge.

Skywatchers are advised to pick a location with a clear horizon on the south-east in order to maximise their viewing time. It's when the eclipsed Moon can be seen on one horizon, while the rising Sun can also be observed near the opposite horizon.

Today's event would be followed tomorrow morning by another rare happening - an eclipsed moon that could be visible on one horizon while the Sun rose on the other.

It will come to a head between 3.30-5am when, fully engulfed by the Earth's shadow, the moon will turn an eerie orange-red hue. This light appears reddish for the same reason that a sunset or sunrise does.

Due to how its relative size in the sky, the eclipse makes it appear as if there's a ring of light around the moon.

"Enthusiasts can witness the phenomenon with the naked eye and without any filter", Bharat Kumar of the Breakthrough Science Society (BSS) in Bengaluru said. "It's something that people have heard of before", she said. The total eclipse will last 103 minutes, and will peak at around 10.20pm.

Mars will appear brighter in the sky than the moon, separated by just five degrees - about the width of three fingers held at arm's length.

The celestial spectacle will be taking place alongside the Blood Moon, as well as the Mars opposition.

And finally - the Moon is near apogee (the most distant point in its orbit) around the July full moon, Edberg said.

Mars to come closest to Earth in 15 years next month
In 2003, the red planet came 34.8 million miles close to Earth, which was the closest it's been to us in 59,619 years. First, a solar wind proton approaches Mars at high speed and encounters a cloud of hydrogen surrounding the planet.

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