Blood moon should be an eerie spectacle this Friday evening


Blood moon should be an eerie spectacle this Friday evening

Even fewer lunar eclipses occur when the moon passes through the center of the Earth's shadow, which increases the length of the lunar eclipse.

"A partial eclipse precedes and follows the total phase of eclipse, each time lasting 1 hour and 6 minutes". This means it will be passing through space at a point where the cone of Earth's shadow is wider, making the eclipse last longer.

The Earth typically experiences between one and four lunar eclipses a year.

Central and Eastern Africa: The entire eclipse will be visible in Central and Eastern Africa, with totality beginning in major cities like Cairo and Nairobi at 9:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. local time, respectively.

The Red Moon was clearly captured in Istanbul, Turkey, in January of this year.

The whole of North America and Central America will miss out on the eclipse but stargazers in affected countries will have a chance to watch the Virtual Telescope live stream. Dr Gregory Brown, of the Royal Observatory Greenwich, said: "We miss a section of the eclipse due to the moon being below our horizon when it starts".

Although it won't look almost as large as the blood moon, Mars will be its largest in size if you're looking through a telescope and close to its maximum brightness in our sky. The light then appears reddish, hence the "blood moon" name.

Total lunar eclipse. Image by author
Image by author captured Oct. 7 2014 Jackson MI

Dundonians will be well placed later this week to have a grandstand view of the longest lunar eclipse, or blood moon, of the century. While it won't be the century's longest, that "blood moon" is expected to last a respectable 1 hour and 2 minutes!

But dust thrown into the atmosphere by recent volcanic eruptions in Hawaii and Guatemala was likely to paint the moon a deeper red.

And this is no regular lunar eclipse. All celestial bodies - sun, moon and earth - have to be in ideal alignment for the phenomenon to occur. Those of you in the United Kingdom should look for this eclipse starting in at around 11PM (that's 23:00 hours) local time.

The lunar eclipse will end at 11.14pm, with a total duration of one hour and 42 minutes.

Finally, contrary to solar eclipses, lunar eclipses can be viewed without any eye protection.

When is the Blood Moon?



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