21st century's longest lunar eclipse on Friday: Bengaluru gears up

21st century's longest lunar eclipse on Friday: Bengaluru gears up

What makes the celestial event more special is that it will coincide with the fiery planet, Mars, coming closest to the earth in 15 years, causing it to appear the brightest in the evening sky in its reddish-orange hues.

Before and after this total eclipse phase, the Moon passes into a transitional phase called penumbra: the total duration of these three phases (penumbra, total, penumbra) varies from place to place.

Friday's moon will be a rare one to behold as Britain experiences a blood moon or, as astronomers term it, a total lunar eclipse.

Although it is expected to last 103 minutes, those in the United Kingdom and Ireland will not be able to see the start of the lunar eclipse as the moon will still be below the horizon. The entire USA won't be able to see a full lunar eclipse again until January.

The eclipse will be visible in the regions covering Australia, Asia, Russia - except the northern part, Africa, Europe, east of South America and Antarctica.

"Belfast looks like the best place to see it tonight, but you never know".

The moon orbits, or goes around the Earth.

"Totality will last for 103 minutes, making it the longest eclipse of the 21st century!" the Royal Astronomical Society said.

21st century's longest lunar eclipse on Friday: Bengaluru gears up

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.

On December 26 next year, people in Brunei will be experien-cing a partial solar eclipse when the moon passes in front of the Sun. In metro cities, space enthusiasts may miss out on watching the moon being eclipsed due to pollution. "It's called a blood moon because the light from the sun goes through the Earth's atmosphere on its way to the moon and the Earth's atmosphere turns it red in the same way that when the sun goes down, it goes red".

It depends partly on "how cloudy or transparent those parts of the Earth's atmosphere are which enable sunlight to reach the moon", he told AFP.

This happens because blue light undergoes stronger atmospheric scattering, so red light will be the most dominant color highlighted as sunlight passes through our atmosphere and strikes the moon.

Mr Kirkley said that the sunrise would begin during the eclipse which would "wash out" the colours of the moon as it turned red.

What is Blood moon or Red Moon?

North America will nearly completely miss out on the blood moon. The partial eclipse starts in India at 11:44pm IST, while the total eclipse begins at 1am IST. That way you can see the moon move full into the Earth's shadow. It is expected to last for at least two hours.

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