Longest lunar eclipse: Mars coming closest ever to Earth in 15 years

Posted July 30, 2018

At 4:58 am, the penumbral eclipse will end. "The moon will set on Saturday morning at 5:15am local time".

DOUBLE TREAT This composite image created on January 31 shows the moon during a lunar eclipse in Tokyo.

One superstition says that if you get injured during the lunar eclipse then the wound will not stop bleeding.

In the distant past, people associated eclipses with tragedies, as they did not understand what caused them and thought that everything in the sky had a hidden meaning. There is no harm and it is completely safe.

The real spectacle will start when the moon passes into the umbra, which will look like a black disk moving across the glowing face of the moon.

To see the lunar eclipse better, you can use telescopes or binoculars.

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So how can people partake the spectacular view on offer?

The opportunity was longer in the southernmost parts of the country.

Views will be best out in the countryside away from light pollution. "What more could you want?"

Dr Brown said: "At this time, the moon passes into the shadow of the Earth, blocking the light from the sun".

The lunar eclipse happens July 27 and if you're headed toward South America, eastern Africa, the Middle East or Central Asia, you have a chance to see the celestial show.

The July 27 lunar eclipse will be especially long because the moon will be at its farthest point in its orbit. It will appear a bright coppery-red colour because as the sun's rays travel through our atmosphere the blue light gets scattered more easily than the red light - so more of the red light gets through.

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Shayanne Gal/Business InsiderA diagram of the Earth, moon, and sun during a total lunar eclipse or "blood moon".

As commented by the National Center for Hydro Meteorological Forecasting, a successful observation of this rare lunar eclipse, along with the blood moon, requires the absolutely clear sky.

Each lunar eclipse is visible from more than half the Earth.

Stargazers may be looking up at the skies in awe, but years ago the moon's ochre orange colour was considered to be a bad omen that instilled fear and panic until the scientific explanation of how lunar eclipses occurred was finally understood.

"It's called a blood moon because the light from the sun goes through the earth's atmosphere on its way to the moon and the earth's atmosphere turns it red in the same way that when the sun goes down it goes red", Andrew Fabian, professor of astronomy at the University of Cambridge. It was also the second full moon of the month, which is referred to as a blue moon.

The lunar eclipse will follow on the 27th and the eclipse season will end with another partial solar eclipse on August 11, which will also be visible here in Kwa-Zulu-Natal, this eclipse will start at 10:02:08 and end at 13:30:40.

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