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Published: Sun, July 29, 2018
Research | By Jennifer Evans

Longest lunar eclipse of the century to take place over Oman skies

Longest lunar eclipse of the century to take place over Oman skies

July 27-28 made the world witness the longest lunar eclipse to date, which lasted for an hour and forty-five minutes.

Those in Australia's west, where alarms were set from 2am, got to see the end of the eclipse's totality, he said.

The best views were in Western Australia because it was still dark during the lunar eclipse process. Sunlight passing through Earth's atmosphere will light the moon in a dramatic fashion, turning it red.

Having the opportunity to observe an event like this is quite rare. Even South America will see the final stages of the eclipse.

Astronaut Alexander Gerst tweeted: "A partially eclipsed Moon, with our neighbouring planet in the background, just before diving into Earth's atmosphere".

There will also be a partial lunar eclipse on July 16, 2019, the 50th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11, the mission that sent the first humans to the moon.

"The moon was a lot paler pink than I expected - a attractive sight in the western sky".

"Our event is sold out", he said yesterday.

The lunar eclipse will coincide with the closest approach of Mars to Earth, PTI reported.

Baboons silhouetted by the moon at the city zoo in Brasilia Brazil
ERALDO PERES AP Baboons silhouetted by the moon at the city zoo in Brasilia Brazil

"We have a rare and interesting conjunction of phenomena", Pascal Descamps, an astronomer with the Paris Observatory, told AFP.

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

As NPR reported, NASA expected Friday's lunar eclipse to be the longest this century.

The moon travels to a similar position every month, but the tilt of its orbit means it normally passes above or below the Earth's shadow - so most months we have a full moon without an eclipse. These red rays are always cast into the space behind Earth, but they are normally drowned out by the sun's direct light. The Moon won't even rise in our eastern skies until 9:06 PM, almost 4 hours after completely emerging from Earth's shadow.

North America, much of the Pacific Ocean and most of the Arctic won't see a thing.

Along with the Blood Moon, Mars will also be seen shining brighter.

For example, when the moon is shrouded by the shadow of the Earth, it is plunged into total darkness and the surface temperature drops dramatically. Anyone in Ethiopia will have the best view of the eclipse though, according to NASA.

On July 27 at around 10pm, the red planet Mars will be directly opposite to the Sun and at the same time being at closest distance from the Earth at about 56 million kilometres. This is what makes it appear so brightly in our sky, beginning early Friday morning.

"All eclipses are spectacular", the Royal Astronomical Society's Robert Massey said.

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