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21st century's longest lunar eclipse on Friday: Bengaluru gears up

21st century's longest lunar eclipse on Friday: Bengaluru gears up

A partial lunar eclipse happens when part of the Moon enters Earth's shadow. The total eclipse begins at 8.30 p.m., and ends at 10.13 p.m.

It is completely safe to look at an eclipsed moon with the naked eye. It will be Mars's closest approach to Earth in over a decade, so the planet will appear bigger in the sky. The Mahila Seva Samaj School, in association with Aryabhata Planetarium, will be setting up a high-end telescope in the playground to view the spectacular blood moon.

From Friday night into Saturday morning, the longest lunar eclipse of the century will take place and everyone across Australia should be able to see it.

After 2.43am, the moon will begin to emerge out of its shadow, marking the end of the eclipse at 3.49am on 28 July.

Because the total lunar eclipse had be ongoing at the time of moonset and sunrise, there were few vantage points on our planet to experience it - but New Zealand was fortunately one of them.

Mars will appear brighter in the sky than the moon, separated by just five degrees - about the width of three fingers held at arm's length.

The eclipse, however, will not be visible from North America or most of the Pacific.

The reason we don't get eclipses every month is because the moon orbits Earth on a slightly inclined plane of five degrees.

"The moon is not always in ideal alignment with the sun and the Earth, so that is why we do not get a lunar eclipse every lunar cycle", Brad Tucker, an astronomer with the Australian National University's Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, said in a statement.

Watch The Longest Lunar Eclipse Of The Century In Singapore On July 28

Then there are partial eclipses, where just part of the moon passes through the dark umbra, or shadow.

The eclipse will be visible from Europe, Africa and the Middle East between sunset and midnight on July 27.

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.

According to Professor Mark Birkinshaw, from the University of Bristol, the only two things people need tomorrow night to see the stunning astronomical event are your own eyes.

When the Earth passes in front of the moon, it rapidly causes its surface temperature to drop - causing lunar rocks to suddenly freeze and crack, releasing gas.

The red moon phenomenon, also called a Blood Moon or Luna Rossa, is possible because, while the moon is in total shadow, some light from the sun passes through the Earth's atmosphere and is bent toward the moon.

For thousands of years, different civilisations have associated the Blood Moon with catastrophic changes and apocalyptic disasters.

Because the Moon is far away from Earth relatively speaking - its orbit is an ellipse, so it moves closer and further and looks larger and smaller from Earth.

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