Longest Lunar Eclipse of the 21st Century to Occur Saturday Morning

There might once have been life on... the Moon? Yes, say researchers

Pakistan to witness century’s longest lunar eclipse on July 27-28

Unlike a solar Eclipse, "blood moon" is completely safe to watch.

But you're going to need to be in the right place to see it - and it's nearly a blink-and-you-miss-it event.

The July 27 lunar eclipse will be especially long because the moon will be at its farthest point in its orbit. Earth's air also scatters more shorter-wavelength light (in colors such as green or blue); what's left is the longer-wavelength, redder end of the spectrum.

Why Is It Called A Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse?

"They will move through reasonably quickly but if that coincides with the peak moment of the eclipse, they could obscure the moon".

DOUBLE TREAT This composite image created on January 31 shows the moon during a lunar eclipse in Tokyo.

The opportunity was longer in the southernmost parts of the country.

Think of it this way: If you were standing on the moon and staring at the sun (not recommended), the earth would eventually obscure the sun, and you'd just see a ring of fiery light.

In Dunedin, the interval was reduced to four minutes; in Christchurch, three minutes.

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It is well known that a lunar eclipse occurs only during full moon when the Moon appears fully illuminated from the Earth.

During a sunset or sunrise, sunlight reaching our eyes has passed through a lot more atmospheric gas, and this effectively filters out the blues and makes the light appear orange or even red. For those watching on Earth, the moon appears to cover the sun, with a ring of the sun's light surrounding the moon.

If you are lucky to be in Madagascar or the Middle East, have a seat right at the midnight and stare at the moon.

MetService was forecasting fine conditions but with high cloud over most southern spots for Saturday, although Gore and Invercargill could see showers. "Beyond that, the view of the moon will already be affected by twilight", he said.

"Having the opportunity to observe an event like this is quite rare", he said.

For thousands of years, man has looked to the heavens for omens of doom, victory and joy.

Zarb Adami, an astrophysicist, explained that the reason this lunar eclipse was the longest of the 21st century was because it passed through the centre of Earth's shadow. The moon will be visible in a reddish, scarlet hue for over one hour and 43 minutes of the eclipse, which is 40 per cent longer than that of any other eclipse measured in recent times.

In South America, West Africa and Europe, the eclipse will begin with the rising of the Moon, in East Asia and Australia - on the contrary, with its setting.

The last time the Red Planet was bigger and brighter than this was in 2003, when the distance between Mars and the Earth closed to less than 56 million kilometres.

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