Lunar eclipse: Century's longest 'blood moon' delights skygazers

Katie Ramirez
July 31, 2018

You'll have to stay inside (where it's safe) and instead watch it online.

This century's longest total lunar eclipse clocked in at 6 hours and 13 minutes Friday, with totality lasting more than 100 minutes. It should not be considered an invitation to satanic sex rituals of humans or horses.

The so-called "blood moon", when it turns a deep red, will be visible at different times in Australia, Africa, Asia, Europe and South America.

"Lunar eclipse is an opportunity to stimulate the passion and curiosity for such rare events", he added.

Duration: Longest total lunar eclipse this century - 1 hour 45min. It will also have astronomers on hand to offer commentary on the history and science of lunar eclipses on Facebook Live.

Check this page closer to 3 p.m. Friday for a look at how the world is viewing the lunar eclipse.

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Another live stream from the Virtual Telescope team. For this eclipse, Diego says skywatchers can expect to see a "bright red-orange moon". The webcast should kick off at 2:30 p.m. EDT (18:30 UT).

The Moon gradually returns to its normal color and brightens as it emerges from Earth's shadow. When the moon is farther away, it orbits Earth more slowly - meaning it will take its time as it passes through Earth's shadow. For viewers in India, the eclipse, both partial and the total, will be visible in its entirety from all parts of the country.

"This eclipse is special because just by chance it happens that the moon will cross the shadow of the Earth nearly along its diameter, which makes the eclipse a few minutes longer than usual", Francisco Diego, an astronomer at University College London in the United Kingdom, told NBC News.

LEAD IMAGE: The full moon rises behind silhouetted climbers on Mount Artos in Turkey's Van Province on July 27. As reported by Wired, the next one near this size won't come until 2029, and there won't be a longer one until 2123 - so don't hold your breath for that.

But, while there was a spectacular sunrise, the eclipsed moon disappeared behind low cloud at the crucial moment in Christchurch.

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