‘Blood moon’ dazzles skygazers in century’s longest eclipse

‘Blood moon’ dazzles skygazers in century’s longest eclipse

‘Blood moon’ dazzles skygazers in century’s longest eclipse

Viewers received an extra treat, with Mars competing for attention, sparkling brightly.

According to NASA, the next lunar eclipse that is this long will occur in 2123. The moon will be in flawless alignment with the sun and Earth on Friday, with the moon on the opposite side of the Earth from the sun.

A total lunar eclipse occurs when the moon and the sun are on exact opposite sides of Earth, so that our planet blocks the sunlight that normally reaches the moon.

There will also be some time before and after when the moon is in the lighter part of Earth's shadow, which is called the penumbra.

"This eclipse is special because just by chance it happens that the moon will cross the shadow of the Earth nearly along its diameter, which makes the eclipse a few minutes longer than usual", Francisco Diego, an astronomer at University College London in the United Kingdom, told NBC News. "However, instead of turning black as you might expect, the atmosphere of the Earth bends the light of the sun on to the moon causing it to turn a deep red colour".

"The moon is not always in flawless alignment with the sun and the Earth, so that is why we do not get a lunar eclipse every lunar cycle", Brad Tucker, an astronomer with the Australian National University's Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, said in a statement.

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He added: "The thunderstorms will be quite widespread but not necessarily close together and it's going to be down to fortune whether people in certain locations are able to see this astronomical spectacle".

The time of greatest eclipse will be 2021 GMT on July 27. At that time, this month's full moon - also known as the blood buck moon - will pass through the center of the Earth's shadow.

Sadly, if you live in the Northern Hemisphere, you'll miss the lunar eclipse because it will take place during our daylight hours. In eastern Asia, Australia, and parts of the western Pacific, the eclipse will be visible before sunrise on July 28, as the moon sets.

"If you were standing on the moon in this eclipse, you would see the sun and then the earth would come in the way and blot out the sun", said Fabian.

Clouds have hindered Perth's view of the longest blood moon this century, but it didn't stop stargazers from making the most of the small window to see the phenomenon this morning.

The total lunar eclipse, which turns the moon blood-red, has particularly been a source of dread and panic for people who did not comprehend the circumstances that led to this "strange" phenomenon.

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