21st century's longest blood moon to appear

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In the United Kingdom, the Blood Moon will reach totality at 9.21pm BST. And finally, there are total lunar eclipses, where the entire moon passes through the umbra.

It will be the longest-lasting eclipse this century.

The lunar eclipse 2018 will happen tonight, marking the longest total such eclipse till 2123, i.e. for over 100 years. The will begin shortly before the penumbral phase of the eclipse begins and will stretch through to its conclusion.

But the eclipse that will stretch from South America to New Zealand on Friday will last nearly four hours, coming in at three hours and 55 minutes.

The total eclipse will last up to 2h 43m IST on 28 July. Additionally, the moon will be at a farther point from Earth along its orbit, EarthSky pointed out.

As with most eclipses, conspiracy theorists believe it is a sign of the end times and is referred to as the Blood Moon prophecy. The total lunar eclipse on July 16/17, 2000, came close at 106 minutes and 24 seconds. So it's anyone's guess just how red this eclipse will be.

The moon will begin to move into the penumbra - the fuzzy outer edge of the Earth's shadow - at 17:14 GMT.

"South-eastern observers will be able to see the eclipse for somewhat longer than north-western ones".

Stargazers in Northern Ireland could miss out on a rare opportunity to catch a glimpse of the lunar eclipse when it appears on Friday. That means it will be shining bright, with the best visibility around midnight.

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Longest Total Lunar Eclipse of Century on Friday
Fiery Mars will add to the spectacle as it appears directly below the blood moon at close to its maximum brightness. NASA said the total lunar eclipse will last almost two hours Friday night, turning the moon a reddish orange color.

This takes place only at full moon. In 2018, it happens on today.

Mars will next be this close to earth in 2035. The Sun, the moon and Venus will be the only (natural) objects in the sky brighter than Mars. In 2003, Mars came closest to our planet in nearly 60,000 years.

You will find several videos and space channels live streaming the lunar eclipse.

Residents of Europe and Africa, on the other hand, will be able to enjoy this spectacular event after sundown on July 27.

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.

Unlike with solar eclipses, no special equipment is required to observe lunar eclipses. Nearly two weeks after, on August 11, 2018, another partial solar eclipse will take place.

According to the SA Astronomical Observatory (SAAO), the eclipse could be seen with or without a visual aid. The atmosphere filters out most of the sun's blue light, so the moon looks red.

At 12.19am, the moon will be out of the earth's umbral shadow and the observable eclipse will be over. These similar eclipses make up a Saros series. The series has 71 eclipses.

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