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'Blood moon': Complete lunar eclipse begins, the longest of this century

'Blood moon': Complete lunar eclipse begins, the longest of this century

The total eclipse is expected to last a record-breaking one hour and 43 minutes, seen in Italy from 21:30, when the moon enters the shadow of the Earth and turns red, until 23:13, when it will start to emerge and regain its normal appearance. This is when the moon changes from its traditional white hue to a deep, nearly blood-like red due to the sun's rays being reflected through the planet's atmosphere.

Hundreds of skywatchers armed with telescopes, binoculars and cameras gathered at Sydney Observatory in Millers Point and Braeside Park in Melbourne to catch the best view of the longest total lunar eclipse this century.

At around 9.30 last night the lunar eclipse begun over the night sky of Dubrovnik.

"The earth's atmosphere then turns the light red in the same way that the sun appears when it is going down", Prof Fabian said. "You will see the sunrise and sunset of the Earth lighting up the surface of the Moon - over 350,000 km away. Earth and the Red Planet were about 59 million kilometres apart in 1988, and they will be about 57.6 million kilometres apart on 27 July 2018", the director of the Nehru Planetarium in Mumbai, Arvind Paranjpye, wrote in an email to a leading media portal. Our neighboring planet will appear unusually large and bright, a mere 35.9 million miles from Earth on its elliptical orbit around the sun.

The red sheen that the moon will take on is entirely dependent on how much dust is in the Earth's atmosphere. At least part of the eclipse will be visible in all major land areas except North and Central America, with totality visible in the the Middle East, India, parts of central Asia and eastern and southern Africa.

This is what gives the phenomenon the name "blood moon", though Mark Bailey of the Armagh Observatory in Northern Ireland said the color can vary greatly.

Infographic

But don't worry, even if you don't manage to find the ideal spot to see the red moon coming over the horizon, you'll still be able to get a good view once it rises in the sky.

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

This graphic shows the visibility of the July 27, 2018, lunar eclipse. The fact that the moon appeared so small and took longer to pass through Earth's shadow was also why the eclipse lasted longer.

Thousands of Australians rose in the pre-dawn twilight, braving the winter chill on Saturday to marvel at a spectacular celestial display - a glowing red moon and a shimmering Mars.

During this eclipse, direct sunlight is completely blocked by the Earth's shadow.

"This is a total eclipse at a time in its orbit when it is close to being the farthest from Earth, or at apogee", she said.

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