Lunar eclipse: Century's longest 'blood moon' delights skygazers

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Lunar eclipse: Century's longest 'blood moon' delights skygazers

The moon turned "blood red" in a total lunar eclipse for an hour and 43 minutes - the longest of the century.

"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", Steve Edberg, an astronomer who recently retired from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, told the Los Angeles Times.

(There was also a blood moon prophecy about the apocalypse approaching four years ago, so, uh, check that out if you're interested.) When a partial lunar eclipse occurs, the moon does not appear as red or as striking, so these are not called blood moons.

NASA said the reason the eclipse lasted more than one hour and 40 minutes was because the moon went "directly through the center of the Earth's shadow". It wasn't visible in the US, but it could be seen from places like South America, Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia.

As Space.com explained, the eclipse's record length was the result the moon's positioning relative to Earth.

On the banks of India's Ganges, temples were closed ahead of eclipse. In Singapore, enthusiasts primed telescopes at the Marina South Pier.

"We have about a couple of hundred people that are booked in to come and watch it with us".

When the three celestial bodies are perfectly lined up, however, the Earth's atmosphere scatters blue light from the sun while refracting or bending red light onto the moon, usually giving it a rosy blush.

Over the coming days, Mars will be at its closest point to Earth since 2003 - visible as a "bright red star" where skies are clear.

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

#08:30 PM: Lunar Eclipse 2018: Is it safe to watch with naked eyes?: Unlike a solar eclipse, the total lunar eclipse or Chandra Grahan is safe to watch with naked eyes.

The long duration of this eclipse is partly due to the fact that the moon will make a near-central passage through Earth's umbra.

"We have a rare and interesting conjunction of phenomena", Pascal Descamps, an astronomer with the Paris Observatory, said.

The best views were in Western Australia because it was still dark during the lunar eclipse process. From some places, the entire eclipse will be visible, while in other areas the Moon will rise or set during the eclipse.

As skywatchers around the world witnessed last night's spectacular lunar eclipse, residents in the Upper East Region town of Bawku, have interpreted the cosmic event differently.

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