Blood Moon: Longest Lunar Eclipse of the Century
At nearly 2 hours long, this lunar eclipse will be the longest of the Century.
North America is the only continent on Earth where it was not visible.
The best views will be in Africa and Asia, but people in Europe, South America and Australia will get partial views.
The eclipse will occur on the night of 27 July into the early hours of 28 July. According to EarthSky, it is the longest total lunar eclipse of the 21st Century.
“The total phase of the eclipse, called the totality spans 1 hour 42 mins and 57 secs,” said EarthSky’s Bruce McClure.
During the eclipse, the Moon will appear red, giving it the nickname “Blood Moon.”
A total lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon and the Sun are on exact opposite sides of Earth, according to NASA. When this happens, Earth blocks the sunlight that normally reaches the Moon. Instead of that sunlight hitting the Moon’s surface, Earth’s shadow falls on it.
Although the moon is in Earth’s shadow, some sunlight still reaches the moon. The sunlight passes through Earth’s atmosphere, which causes Earth’s atmosphere to filter out most of the blue light.
This makes the moon appear red to people on Earth.
An added treat next week: July’s total lunar eclipse occurs on the same day the planet Mars reaches its opposition, when it will shine at its best in the night sky, according to Space.com. A Mars opposition is when the Earth lies between Mars and the sun, making the sun and Mars appear in opposite directions as viewed from the Earth.
This month, Mars will be at its closest to Earth since Y 2003.
The next lunar eclipse that will be visible in North America will be next Winter: 21 January 2019.
As for a solar eclipse, we have a longer wait. Although there are 3 partial solar eclipses this year, none are visible in the US
The next total eclipse of the Sun visible in the US will occur on 8 April 2024. T
Have a terrific weekend.