Publicado: Sáb, Julio 28, 2018
Ciencia | Por Aurelio Ontiveros

Complete lunar eclipse begins, the longest of this century

Complete lunar eclipse begins, the longest of this century

It looks like a good night for it, with mostly clear skies predicted in southern regions including Puglia, Campania and Calabria.

Rare lunar events like these are something to look forward to now, but you can imagine that they were pretty spooky spectacles in the old days. The eclipse takes place once in a century so you can consider yourself to be lucky to see one. This happens when Mars and the Sun are in opposition, meaning they are on opposite sides of the Earth.

The totality of this lunar eclipse will last about an hour and 43 minutes, but a partial eclipse before and after the total phase means the moon will spend almost four hours crossing the Earth's shadow.

This happens because blue light undergoes stronger atmospheric scattering, so red light will be the most dominant color highlighted as sunlight passes through our atmosphere and strikes the moon.

It should also be at least partially visible from Europe, Australia, South America and most of eastern Asia, although the total eclipse phase will not last as long. At its closest point beginning Friday night, the Red Planet will be 35.8 million miles away but will remain at peak brightness through August 3.

"You could use a telescope but, to be frank, it will be just as dramatic to watch it without aids as the red moon slowly rises in the sky over Britain and the shadow of the Earth passes from its surface". Since Earth is closer to the sun, it orbits - making two trips around the sun in the time it takes Mars to orbit once.

However, he said it was still worth seeing as the next blood moon would not be visible in New Zealand until May 2021.

A super blood moon in Malmö in 2015. Friday's blood moon won't be as big
A super blood moon in Malmö in 2015. Friday's blood moon won't be as big

The lunar eclipse will be visible in South America, East Africa, the West Asia and central Asia. This occurs when an eclipsed moon can be seen on one horizon, while the rising sun can be observed on the other.

The Virtual Telescope project is setting up a live stream from the Roman Forum on the Palatine Hill in Rome, Italy.

Sky-watchers will also be able to see Mars burning brightly in the sky, looking like an orange-red star.

Total Lunar Eclipse of July 27, 2018.

"It starts with a partial eclipse at 7:24 p.m".

"The moon usually turns a deep, dark red because it is illuminated by light that has passed through the Earth's atmosphere and has been bent back towards the moon by refraction", the British Royal Observatory explained.

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