How to watch the blood moon and Mars opposition online

Larry Hoffman
July 24, 2018

According to the Astronomical Society of Southern Africa (Assa)‚ it will be the longest lunar eclipse this century - and will last from 8.24pm to just after midnight. Totality - the time during which the sun's light is completely blocked - will last for one hour and 43 minutes. On July 27, our satellite will not only pass through the mid-point of Earth's shadow, but it will also be the farthest possible distance from our planet. The good news is that the next total lunar eclipse, scheduled to occur on January 21, 2019, will be visible to all North American residents. Sorry, North America, you'll need to watch online instead. Additionally, the eclipse will only be visible from Australia as it is beginning and from South America as it is ending. Everyone on the night side of Earth will see the eclipse together from 4.24am (AEST) with the total eclipse starting at 5.30am (AEST). The whole shebang will last almost four hours. However, not everyone will be able to see the blood moon.

The Royal Astronomical Society said: 'Sometimes the eclipsed moon is a deep red colour, nearly disappearing from view, and sometimes it can be quite bright. The partial lunar eclipse involves the southern half of the moon passing into the earth's shadow, he added.

When the full moon moves into Earth's shadow, it will darken, but it won't disappear.

In a lovely coincidence, on July 27, Mars will also appear large and bright in the sky as it moves towards its closest approach to Earth in 15 years. Instead of that sunlight hitting the moon's surface, Earth's shadow falls on it.

"This is what is called the first contact when the partial lunar eclipse begins", said the Hyderabad centre's statement.

Brad Tucker, researcher at Australian National University's Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, explained why we don't get a lunar eclipse every lunar cycle.

"Dundee Law will probably be the best place to watch the lunar eclipse.At moonrise, you will be able to see the start from the east, looking towards Broughty Ferry".

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