Lunar Eclipse July 2018

Century’s longest lunar eclipse tonight All you need to know

Time to get outdoors and into a clear area tonight as the sky plays host to one of the most awaited celestial delights - the longest blood moon of the 21st Century and Mars coming closest to the Earth in a long while.

"The moon usually turns a deep, dark red because it is illuminated by light that has passed through the Earth's atmosphere and has been bent back towards the moon by refraction", the British Royal Observatory explained.

The first one, a Super Blue Blood Eclipse, took place on January 31, 2018.

Mars appeared unusually large and bright, a mere 57.7 million kilometres (35.9 million miles) from Earth on its elliptical orbit around the sun. The map below from NASA provides an idea of where to plan your travel for the best blood moon viewing.

Moon rise will happen in Belfast at 9.27pm this evening, coming just after the mid-eclipse point, with the "total" eclipse ending at 10.13pm.

A "blood moon" is seen during a full lunar eclipse in the southern Bavarian village of Raisting, near Munich, Germany, July 27, 2018. The fact that the moon appears so small and takes longer to pass through Earth's shadow is also why the eclipse lasts longer.

Is a blood moon really rare? . Both are resources that provide live-streaming of astronomical events. Apps such as The Photographer's Ephemeris and PhotoPills give detailed information on things such as moonrise times and the position of the moon in the sky based on geographical location.

The red sheen that the moon will take on is entirely dependent on how much dust is in the Earth's atmosphere.

Not all the lunar eclipses will lead to a "bloody" show. Interestingly, the August 6/7, 2036 eclipse will not have almost as long a totality as the June 25/26, 2029 total lunar eclipse, where totality will last for 102 minutes.

What is the blood moon prophecy?

No glasses are needed for the lunar eclipse due to its dimmer colour.

What is a Blood Moon? It won't be visible in the USA, but can be seen in parts of Africa, the Middle East, Europe, South America, Australia and Asia - depending on the weather.

However, the partial eclipse will be visible for nearly four hours.

It will not be visible in the US.

Met Office spokesman Grahame Madge said: 'It's quite tricky at the moment to be precise but there is a potential for showers to develop across the eastern half of the UK.

The best places to observe the celestial event will be towards the western parts of the country.

The Executive Director of Tamil Nadu Science and Technology Center shared details about "Blood Moon" and the special arrangements made the Centre (situated in Guindy) for people to witness the eclipse.

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