Rare Celestial treat: Longest total Lunar Eclipse of century falls tomorrow

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Stargazers will enjoy a rare celestial display when, on the same night, Mars will shine brighter than it has in 15 years.

Mesopotamians regarded the blood moon as an omen that the king would be attacked.

The eclipse will be visible in the regions covering Australia, Asia, Russia - except the northern part, Africa, Europe, east of South America and Antarctica. Sadly, North America will miss out. On average, the totality lasts approximately one hour to one hour and 30 minutes during moon eclipse.

"Mars will look like this attractive bright red star just below the Moon", said Prof O'Brien. As per the Indian timings, the eclipse will be in its partial form at around 11.52 pm.

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

Andrew Fabian is with the University of Cambridge.

Cloud cover could rain on the parade of those who want to watch the event in full, but Perth Observatory's Matt Woods said the skies were predicted to clear just in time for the beginning of the eclipse.

Before and after this total eclipse phase, the Moon passes into a transitional phase called penumbra: the total duration of these three phases (penumbra, total, penumbra) varies from place to place.

Explaining about the phenomenon, he said, "Throughout the eclipse, the moon will look a bit reddish". The only light which reaches moon and gets reflected back is the one which is refracted by the earth's atmosphere.

Rare Celestial treat: Longest total Lunar Eclipse of century falls tomorrow
Rare Celestial treat: Longest total Lunar Eclipse of century falls tomorrow

Mars will more likely appear as a very bright star.

No glasses are needed for the lunar eclipse due to its dimmer colour.

For thousands of years, different civilisations have associated the Blood Moon with catastrophic changes and apocalyptic disasters. "It's something that people have heard of before", she said.

Solar eclipses can last for a few minutes, but some are only a few seconds long.

But it seems the exact shade of red that will appear is hard to guess.

Although the actual point of opposition will take place on July 27, Mars will be noticeably larger for the majority of the month of July. "These lunar events, which occur when the moon passes into Earth's shadow, are safe to view directly with the naked eye, telescopes or binoculars".

It depends partly on "how cloudy or transparent those parts of the Earth's atmosphere are which enable sunlight to reach the moon", he told AFP. The next time that record will be broken is in 2287.

The fact our planet was closer than Mars, meant Earth sped along its orbit faster, taking two trips around the Sun in the same time it took for Mars to make just a single circuit.

Nasa astronomers are using the opportunity to take detailed observations of Mars and its global storms and are expected to release new images on Friday.

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