"Blood Moon" or longest total lunar eclipse of the century this Friday

Pablo Tucker
July 29, 2018

The period when the moon was completely in earth's shadow, known as the "totality", lasted for about an hour and 43 minutes.

During the eclipse, the moon will appear red, giving it the nickname "blood moon". The partial eclipse will be seen around 11.54pm on Friday, while the total eclipse will be visible around 1am on Saturday. The entire event lasts closer to four hours.

The eclipse, though, was not visible in America and the Pacific.

Next lunar eclipse is expected to be in January 2019, experts said adding the rare phenomenon was seen by almost all countries except the United States of America.

The Travelling Telescope Africa Limited was in Magadi, Kajiado County. "Until today I thought Mars, Jupiter and the other planets were in the imagination of scientists", Purity Sailepo, 16, told AFP. Many believe that Lunar Eclipses affect human bodies when it occurs. "Eventually the cloud took the moon away, but Mars was still there for the end as twilight arrived in the morning".

A large number of skygazer clubs in the city had made arrangements for public viewing of the longest total lunar eclipse of the century, by placing telescopes on rooftops or balconies, but it proved fruitless.

It's only called a blood moon because when a total lunar eclipse happens the moon looks sort of red and also "blood moon" sounds cool and mysterious.

Eclipses have inspired awe and terror throughout history.

A reporter form ABC News named Matt Gutman portrayed seeing the lunar eclipse from Hong Kong as more like a dark smirch, because of the weather.

Until science put the record straight, folk tales abounded about such occurrences, with some civilisations attributing them to conflicts between the gods.

"And the density of dust increasing in the atmosphere can cause the moon to appear a particularly deep red, and indeed it has the same effect on our sunsets and sunrises".

Unlike a solar Eclipse when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, blocking the sunlight, the moon is not "dark" during the blackout, and instead becomes blood-red. But the indirect sunlight is refracted by the earth's atmosphere.

Because blue and violet wavelengths are scattered more than red and orange ones, more of the red wavelengths reach the moon, making the moon appear red.

The last lunar eclipse occurred on January 31, 2018. Amateur astronomers in the southern hemisphere will be best-placed to enjoy the spectacle, especially those in southern Africa, Australia, India and Madagascar, though it will also be partly visible in Europe and South America.

The event will not occur in the United Kingdom until 9.21pm, and will last until 10.13pm. Children born today will be 105 years old at that time. The eclipse will be the longest this century.

He said that people can expect to see about 100 meteors streaking across the sky every hour.

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