Don't miss tomorrow's Blood Moon — the longest lunar eclipse of the 21st century
27 July, 2018, 08:57
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Early risers on Saturday morning are set for a celestial feast as scientists predict the moon to glow blood red thanks to the longestlunar eclipse this century.
NASA, meanwhile, has called out social media hoaxers claiming that Mars will appear as big as the moon during the eclipse.
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. The moon will finally escape Earth's shadow at about 12.20am on Saturday. The penumbra is the partial outer shadow, and the umbra is the full, dark shadow.
But it seems the exact shade of red that will appear is hard to guess.
The moon travels to a similar position every month, but the tilt of its orbit means it normally passes above or below the Earth's shadow - so most months we have a full moon without an eclipse.
"Since, colour red has the longest wavelength, it passes through the atmosphere and reaches moon, while all other colours get scattered away", said professor of astrophysics, Patrick Dasgupta, from Delhi University.
What do you need to watch the chandra grahan? It's when the eclipsed Moon can be seen on one horizon, while the rising Sun can also be observed near the opposite horizon. It's also a "mini-moon" because the moon is the farthest from Earth and appears small.
In a lunar eclipse the moon appears darkened as it passes into the Earth's shadow.
The weather forecast for tomorrow is now predicting patchy cloud but due to the length of this eclipse most people should be able to catch a glimpse at the very least.
The eclipse will be visible in the regions covering Australia, Asia, Russia - except the northern part, Africa, Europe, east of South America and Antarctica.
"Most of the time, they're obscured by the brightness, so again, it's relatively unusual to have them both in the western sky where people can see them both". That said, lunar myths form an integral part of Indian culture and religious customs, and enrich the entire anticipation and experience of the eclipse.
Unlike a solar eclipse, the lunar event can be viewed without wearing protective eye gear.
Our red moon will have some company Friday.
And last but not least: Mars just happens to be in opposition on Friday night as well.
Image copyright Science Photo Library Image caption At its closest approach, Mars will be 54.6 million km from Earth. So if bad weather disrupts your opportunity on Friday, there will be more chances.
"Mars will look like this handsome bright red star just below the Moon", said Prof O'Brien.
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The last time Mars was bigger and brighter than this was in 2003, when it was less than 56 million kilometres away from Earth. And finally - the Moon is near apogee (the most distant point in its orbit) around the July full moon, Edberg said.
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