How to watch the longest 'blood moon' eclipse of the century

A boat sails in the Bosporus Strait separating Europe and Asia as a super blue blood moon rises over Istanbul Wednesday Jan. 31 2018. It's the first time in 35 years a blue moon has synced up with a supermoon and a total lunar eclipse or blood moon

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"It will be the century's longest total lunar eclipse with a whopping one hour and 43 minutes in totality".

Sadly, Perth and the west coast, who were tipped to have the best vantage point on account of it taking place well before daylight, succumbed to showers and cloudy conditions.

A total lunar eclipse happens when Earth takes position in a straight line between the moon and sun, blotting out the direct sunlight that normally makes our satellite glow whitish-yellow.

After that, the shadow of the Earth will slowly retreat across the lunar surface until the partial eclipse comes to completion at 11.19pm.

Australians were treated to a celestial extravaganza this morning, as a historic lunar eclipse dazzled early morning risers across the nation. Some light, though, will still reach it because it is bent by the earth's atmosphere.

The full moon will pass through the shadow of the Earth and for 103 minutes the moon will turn varying shades of red. The total eclipse will last 1 hour 42 minutes and 57 seconds. It won't be visible in the USA, but can be seen in parts of Africa, the Middle East, Europe, South America, Australia and Asia - depending on the weather.

According to some Hindu beliefs, celestial bodies such as the sun and moon emit negative energy during an eclipse and so some temples in India were closed to minimize any disturbance.

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The Executive Director of TNSTC, Soundararajan Perumal said, "This time the moon will be at a distance of 4,60,000, so it's called micro moon as it will be slightly diminished".

"People in Jammu and Kashmir, and Tamil Nadu are most likely to be able to witness the event clearly", Aniket Sule, chair of the Public Outreach and Education Committee (POEC) of Astronomical Society of India, told PTI.

For thousands of years, man has looked to the heavens for omens of doom, victory and joy. The total eclipse is scheduled to end at 5.13 a.m.

The celestial event comes as a result of the alignment between the moon, Earth and the sun, and will be visible across the United Kingdom and parts of the Eastern hemisphere.

Astronomers, though, said there was no cause for worry.

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.

The next lunar eclipse will take place on January 21, 2019 but it would not be for so long as the one is going to be tonight.

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