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

Sunday, 29 Jul, 2018

Historically, blood red moons were seen as omen for awful events with their deep red colour. Those planning to watch this celestial event should note that unlike solar eclipse, one does not need to cover their eyes with protective filters to view the Blood Moon.

Thousands of people will be able to see the total eclipse when the full moon slips into the Earth's shadow.

In ancient times, this phenomenon was thought to be a bad omen, but now it is understood that it is simply due to the scattering of light by the air in our atmosphere.

Meanwhile, Mars is now traveling closer to Earth than it has since 2003, so some observers overnight might have also seen what looked like an orange-red star, but was in fact the red planet.

The celestial event comes as a result of the alignment between the moon, Earth and the sun, and will be visible across the United Kingdom and parts of the Eastern hemisphere.

This full moon in July is also known as the Full Buck Moon and the Thunder Moon, occurring when a male deer's antlers are in full growth and at a time of frequent thunderstorms, according to the Old Farmer's Almanac.

Leaving home about 1am yesterday, Mr Abano said the weather was gloomy with thick clouds and intermittent rain. The website 'Time And Date, ' which keeps track of all the major and minor celestial events observable from here on Earth, will be hosting a live stream so that amateur skywatchers from all over the world can enjoy the eclipse in real time.

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

The eclipse will be visible to people in Europe, Africa and the Middle East on July 27 between sunset and midnight.

The longest lunar eclipse of this century will coincide with Mars' closest approach to Earth in 15 years on Friday.

A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes behind Earth, so that the Earth blocks the sun's rays from striking the moon.

As the sunlight has to travel around Earth, if there is a lot of particulate matter in the air then it will encourage greater rates of refraction, making the moon appear red. Picture: Michael GrayA composite photograph showing the various phases of the moon during a lunar eclipse in Sydney. A so-called "blood moon" eclipse like this won't be seen for another 100 years. "It is also moving slower than average because it is at its farthest point from the Earth in its elliptical orbit", NASA added in a statement online.

Two very similar passages appear later in the New Testament, in the books of Acts and Revelations.