21st century's longest lunar eclipse on Friday: Bengaluru gears up

27 July, 2018, 10:30 | Author: Grady King
  • St Helens Star

On a black background.

While there are innumerable misnomers and superstitions about the moon and its dark side, including the eclipse's potential impact on the body and mind, none of them have any scientific corroboration till date.

On Friday, the moon will be fully engulfed in the heart of Earth's shadow for 1 hour, 42 minutes and 57 seconds.

"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.

St Helens Star

A lunar eclipse occurs when the Sun, Earth and Moon line up perfectly, casting Earth's shadow on the moon.

The atmosphere scatters blue light more strongly, meaning the light that reaches the lunar surface is predominantly red in colour.

Stardome Observatory astronomy educator Josh Kirkley said New Zealanders wanting to see the blood moon should get a clear view of the western horizon and keep their eyes peeled from 6.25am until the moon sets at 7.20am. This light appears reddish.

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.

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"This is a total eclipse at a time in its orbit when it is close to being the farthest from Earth, or at apogee", she said.

The moon will be totally eclipsed for an estimated 1 hour and 43 minutes in the prime viewing region, according to NASA predictions.

The areas of our planet from which this can be experienced are very limited, because the total lunar eclipse must be ongoing at the time of moonset/sunrise.

Stargazers will be able to witness the best view of the eclipse in a region spreading across all of sub-Saharan and east Africa, the Middle East, central Asia, the Indian subcontinent, and central Russian Federation.

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Wherever you are in Italy the view of the spectacle will all depend on the weather tomorrow night, so we've had a look at the forecast. Asia, Indonesia and Australia will see it between midnight and sunrise Saturday.

Before we had explanations before what causes the moon to appear red, ancient cultures often feared the worst. North America and Greenland will miss out entirely.

Unlike solar eclipse, you do not need any special filter to watch a lunar eclipse.

"The moon will remain in a very faint penumbral shadow for about an hour after that, but this is typically too light a shadow for the naked eye to notice the difference between that and the full moon that follows". It will be 15 times brighter than the next brightest star in the sky.

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The Earth will pass between the sun and the moon for 103 minutes on Friday evening.

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