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Keep an eye out for the longest lunar eclipse this July

Keep an eye out for the longest lunar eclipse this July

As the sun's light is bent through the Earth's atmosphere, it is scattered by dust and haze in the air, casting a reddish hue on to the eclipsed moon, in a similar way to the red colour of the sun at sunrise and sunset.

Moonrise will be at 20.49 BST in London, 21.46 in Glasgow, 21.02 in Cardiff and 21.27 in Belfast, with mid-eclipse occurring at 21.21 and the "total" phase ending at around 22.13.

This eclipse is considered to be rare because it will last for so long.

According to The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) the Moon will pass through the Earth's shadow and colour the moon red for more than one hour and forty minutes.

At the same time, Mars will hover near the moon in the night sky, easily visible with the naked eye.

The last time the Red Planet was bigger and brighter than this was in 2003, when the distance between Mars and the Earth closed to less than 56 million kilometres.

"We have a rare and interesting conjunction of phenomena", Pascal Descamps, an astronomer with the Paris Observatory, told AFP. Due to these factors, the Moon will remain shielded from the Sun for a longer duration than usual, and reflect red light off its surface, giving rise to the "blood moon".

According to the Science News, Nigeria will experience total lunar eclipse, which would be is fully visible in Lagos.

East Africa, the Middle East and a region of Central Asia stretching as far east as India and as far north as parts of southern Russian Federation should get a spectacular view of the so-called blood moon.

In India, the total Eclipse will begin in 1 night July 28, will end at 2:43 am.

Unlike a solar eclipse, both the eclipsed moon and Mars can be viewed safely without eye protection.

On July 27 the Sun and Mars will lie opposite to each other with Earth in the middle.

"It's called a blood moon because the light from the sun goes through the earth's atmosphere on its way to the moon and the earth's atmosphere turns it red in the same way that when the sun goes down it goes red", Andrew Fabian, professor of astronomy at the University of Cambridge. Therefore, it is extremely hard for interested people to observe the moon from midnight to 6:30am. It becomes a blood Moon when sunlight is fitered through Earth's atmosphere and bounces off the Moon's cratered surface.

Earth's moon may have been habitable early-on after its formation, shows a new study, published yesterday in the journal Astrobiology. In a famous passage in the Book of Joel in the Hebrew Bible, it warns that "the sun will turn into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and bad day of the Lord comes".

Our constant companion will also be at the farthest point on its orbit from Earth, making its movement across the sky slower from our perspective, thus spending longer in the dark.

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