‘Blood moon’ leaves Kenyans open-mouthed, next one in 2090

29 July, 2018, 09:32 | Author: Tara Reeves
  • Lunar eclipse begins when the Moon begins to pass into Earth's shadow gradually growing dimmer

A blood-red moon dazzled star gazers across much of the world on Friday when it moved into Earth's shadow for the longest lunar eclipse of the 21st Century.

The best areas to see the eclipse include South America, Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. During a total lunar eclipse, Earth blocks direct sunlight from reaching the Moon.

"The reason that the moon turns red is because atmospheric scattering causes red light to pass through the atmosphere and the composition of the atmosphere can change if volcanic eruptions or forest fires occur", Tom Kerss, an astronomer with London's Royal Observatory in Greenwich said.

Anyone who misses out on seeing Friday's lunar eclipse can be reassured knowing they will not have to wait too long for it to happen again - with the next lunar eclipse set to happen in January next year. During this rare phenomena, the Moon will turn bright red and it will be visible in India as well.

Aussies across the country set their alarms early and were treated to an unbelievable view of the rare eclipse. While the full eclipse will be over 6 hours, the total lunar eclipse 2018 will last for 1 hour and 43 minutes.

Skywatchers will be focusing on the moon this weekend to watch the longest total lunar eclipse of the century, also known as a blood moon. Join Miguel here as he takes us through his photograph "Total Lunar Eclipse of 2015". Additionally, Mars and the sun will be on exact opposite sides of the Earth and will shine its best.

In a total lunar eclipse the Moon passes through the core of Earth's shadow often turning red-orange due to the bending of sunlight through Earth's atmosphere

This occurs when an eclipsed moon can be seen on one horizon, while the rising sun can be observed on the other.

The blood moon rises next to the statue of Nike, the goddess of victory, in Warsaw, Poland.

Andrew Fabian, professor of astronomy at the University of Cambridge, explained how the Moon took on the red hue.

The Virtual Telescope Project will share a live stream of the lunar eclipse and Mars at its brightest just a few degrees apart above the skyline of Rome.

The eclipse, however, will not be visible from North America or most of the Pacific. "It is also moving slower than average because it is at its farthest point from the Earth in its elliptical orbit", NASA added in a statement online. The lunar eclipse photographed here was very unusual, because it coincided with the moon's perigee, or closest approach to Earth.

"In the middle of a lunar eclipse it can look as if a red planet has taken up residence near the Earth - they are both eerie and lovely and I'll certainly be looking out for it!"

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    How often are lunar Eclipse? Earth's atmosphere bends and focuses the sun's light into a glowing, cone-shaped shadow - the umbra. By volume, about 80% of Earth's atmosphere is made of nitrogen gas, or N2, and most of the rest is oxygen gas, or O2.
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