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Longest total lunar eclipse of 21st century coming Friday

26 July 2018

The eclipse will be visible from countries in Africa, Central Asia, South America, Europe and Australia.

According to the Astronomical Society of Southern Africa (Assa)‚ it will be the longest lunar eclipse this century - and will last from 8.24pm to just after midnight. There are three types - total, partial and penumbral - with the most dramatic being a total lunar eclipse, in which Earth's shadow completely covers the moon.

Lunar eclipse or Chandra Grahan is a phenomenon when Earth is aligned (falls in a line) directly with the Moon and the Sun, while the orbit of the Moon brings the orb into the Earth's shadow.

"A blood moon is what we call a solar lunar eclipse".

A total lunar eclipse typically occurs once or twice a year and the next will take place on the night of January 21, 2019.

On the evening of 27 July, we are waiting for a total lunar Eclipse.

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This full moon in July is also known as the Full Buck Moon and Thunder Moon, occurring when a male deer's antlers are in full growth and at a time of frequent thunderstorms, according to the Farmer's Almanac. If that holds, then the Virtual Telescope Project view of Mars and the moon should be spectacular.

Unlike solar eclipses, lunar eclipses don't require special equipment for viewing.

This total lunar eclipse also coincides with the lunar apogee when the moon is farthest from the earth.

Considering how this will be the longest total lunar eclipse in the century, Petro shelled out some suggestions for those who'll be able to witness it and those who won't. It will be a super moon as well, which is a full moon or new moon that coincides with the moon's position at it's closest to the Earth. The moon, closest to the centre of the shadow, will showcase the maximum eclipse at 1:51 am. Mars will be one of four planets visible to the naked eye on eclipse night the others include Venus, Jupiter, and Saturn.

However, during a lunar eclipse the glow from the moon is not almost as strong. The first phase of the lunar eclipse is expected to set in from 11:54 pm. Mr Scagell said: "You may see this very eerie-looking deep-red moon rising". A Mars opposition is when the Earth lies between Mars and the sun, making the sun and Mars appear in opposite directions as viewed from the Earth.

Longest total lunar eclipse of 21st century coming Friday