Longest lunar eclipse of century to arrive this month

Eclipse 2018 Blood Moon eclipse 2018

The total eclipse will be the longest of the century for lasting around four hours. The Red Planet is on approach to its closest pass by Earth in decades.

Skygazers are gearing up for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to watch the longest total lunar eclipse of the 21st century.

During complete totality (the moment when the Earth is completely obscuring the light from the Sun) the Moon will turn a deep orange colour.

Ms Patel explained: "The moon orbits around the Earth and when the moon passes directly behind the Earth in the planet's shadow, on the opposite side of the Earth compared to the sun, we see a lunar eclipse".

Last week Hasan Ahmad Al Hariri, of the Dubai Astronomy Group, stepped in to reassure the world that the Blood Moon eclipse is nothing more than a "natural astronomical phenomenon".

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Katarina posted them to social media, where she's been overwhelmed with comments asking for details. When asked why she went ahead anyway, she replied, "It's just a once-in-a-lifetime experience".

The partial eclipse of the Blood Moon will begin below the horizon at around 7.24pm BST, followed by the so-called total eclipse phase between 8.30pm and 9pm BST. The distance between the moon and the Earth will be around 4,06,223km that night.

But why exactly will the full moon turn blood-red during the total lunar eclipse?

Bruce McClure again stated: "Sometimes called an apogean full moon, or micro-moon or mini-moon, this smaller and slower-moving full moon takes more time to cross the Earth's shadow than does a full moon that's closer to Earth and moving faster in orbit". It will also be visible further north and west but for a shorter time. On July 29, it will align itself and come closest to Earth since 2003.

"During this time, the shadow behind the Earth is actually a little bit longer and wider due to the angles between the sun and the Earth when the Earth is a bit further". But the closest approach will be on July 31, when it will be so bright and big that it can be plainly viewed with the naked eye between sunset andsunrise,"Duari said".

Stargazers will also be treated with another unusual astronomical phenomenon - Mars will be closest to Earth. Back in 2003, the distance had shrunk to 55.7 million kilometre, the closest in nearly 60,000 years!

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