Nigeria to experience longest total lunar eclipse Friday - Scientist

Terry Joseph
July 27, 2018

Friday night's lunar eclipse will be more than 20 minutes longer than the last one, which occurred earlier this year on January 31. During this week's lunar eclipse, however, the moon will pass close to middle of the disk.

Star gazers, rejoice! Catch the longest lunar eclipse of the century in Singapore, on Saturday, 28 July 2018!

The event will not occur in the United Kingdom until 9.21pm, and will last until 10.13pm. Partial eclipses before and after the total eclipse means that from start to finish, the moon will spend almost 4 hours travelling behind Earth.

A red planet glowing next to a red moon - it should be a handsome show.

While the Moon is in the Earth's shadow, it will take on a reddish tint, known as a "Blood Moon" or Red Moon.

Being able to see the Sun and a lunar eclipse at once might be thought impossible, given these events typically happened when the Sun, the Earth and the moon were all in a straight line.

When the Earth passes in front of the moon, it rapidly causes its surface temperature to drop - causing lunar rocks to suddenly freeze and crack, releasing gas.

Watch The Longest Lunar Eclipse Of The Century In Singapore On July 28

During the total eclipse (which begins at 7:30 am, NZST) the Moon is much fainter than it usually appears, and is coloured between dark brown and blood red, leading to various superstitions about the "Blood Moon". North America and Greenland will miss out entirely.

The rare event occurs when Mars reaches its closest point to the sun as the same time as Earth's orbit brings it directly between the two. "When you first spot Mars rising in the east after sunset, you will be startled by how bright it looks". From Whanganui to Wellington there is just a slim chance of glimpsing the totally-eclipsed Moon as the Sun peeks above the horizon.

It coincides not only with Mars's close approach, but with what he described as a "procession of planets" - a line-up of our celestial neighbours that will give skywatchers a particularly good view of Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and Mars.

Although not as distinct as Mars, other planets will also make an appearance in the night sky. But on the bright side, there are still a few days before the big events for that to change.

Robin Scagell, vice-president of the Society for Popular Astronomy, said: "It's a bright white star-like object but it doesn't twinkle and it's really unmistakable".

Image: Where will the eclipse be visible?

The eclipse will start at 11:13pm on Friday and end at 5:30am on Saturday in Bangladesh time. "It's not surprising people were terrified by it".

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