The July 2018 full moon presents the longest total lunar eclipse of the 21st century (2001 to 2100) on the night of July 27-28, 2018.
What is so special about the Lunar Eclipse taking place on July 27, 2018 ?
Astronomers have revealed that this lunar eclipse will be the longest to take place in this century.
The total eclipse will last for one hour and 43 minutes, with the moon remaining entirely in shadow for the full 103 minutes.
That is nearly 40 minutes longer than the Super Blue Blood Moon in January.
How is the Blood Moon formed ?
Earth Casts Its Shadow on the Moon . The Moon does not have any light of its own—it shines because its surface reflects sunlight. During a total lunar eclipse, the Earth moves between the Sun and the Moon and cuts off the Moon’s light supply. When this happens, the surface of the Moon takes on a reddish glow instead of going completely dark.
The red color of a totally eclipsed Moon has prompted many people in recent years to refer to total lunar eclipses as Blood Moons.
But , why Red ?
The reason why the Moon takes on a reddish color during totality is a phenomenon called Rayleigh scattering. It is the same mechanism responsible for causing colorful sunrises and sunsets, and for the sky to look blue.
Why is it called the Century’s longest lunar eclipse ?
In 2018, the July full moon and July lunar apogee – the moon’s most distant point from Earth in its monthly orbit – both fall on the same date: July 27 2018. Therefore, the July 2018 full moon showcases the most distant and smallest full moon of the year. Sometimes called an apogean full moon (or micro-moon or mini-moon), this smaller and slower-moving full moon takes more time to cross the Earth’s shadow than does a full moon that’s closer to Earth and moving faster in orbit. That’s why a full moon at or near lunar apogee adds to the duration of a total lunar eclipse.
Is the Blood Moon a sign of Apocalypse ?
The old Blood Moon prophecy is showing up online again, with proponents saying it could represent the final sign to usher in the end-of-time.
NASA was quick to dismiss the claim, saying there was no “scientific basis – not one shred of evidence” that the blood moon was the sign of imminent doom .
Do not worry and enjoy the spectacular astronomical event as this superstitious belief has been dismissed by astronomers and other experts as a myth.
An Eclipse Never Comes Alone!
A solar eclipse always occurs about two weeks before or after a lunar eclipse.
Usually, there are two eclipses in a row, but other times, there are three during the same eclipse season.
The lunar eclipse on 27 July 2018 is preceded by a solar eclipse .
13 July 2018 — Partial Solar Eclipse.
Mars will also be observed closest to the Earth during the July lunar eclipse.
On 27 July, Mars will be in opposition to the Sun, meaning it will be opposite the Sun in Earth’s sky, just 51 days before it passes through perihelion, which is its closest point relative to the Sun in its orbit. As a result, as Space points out, the minimum distance between Mars and Earth will shrink to about 57.58 million kilometres on 30 July.
On that day, the Red Planet will shine brightly at magnitude -2.8, which means that it will blaze twice as bright as Jupiter, but dimmer than Venus. In other terms, Mars will easily be visible to the unaided eye under a clear sky. The last time the Red Planet was so close to the Earth was in 2003.
Who all can witness this astronomical event ?
This lunar eclipse is primarily visible from the world’s Eastern Hemisphere (Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand). South America, at least in part, can watch the final stages of the eclipse just after sunset July 27, whereas New Zealand will catch the beginning stages of the eclipse before sunrise July 28. North America, most of the Arctic and much of the Pacific Ocean will miss out entirely.
At what time is the lunar eclipse best seen ?
Convert these eclipse times from Universal Time (UTC) into your local time.
2018 July 27 –
How to watch a lunar eclipse ?
Lunar eclipses are among the easiest skywatching events to observe. Simply go out, look up and enjoy. You don’t need a telescope or any other special equipment. However, binoculars or a small telescope will bring out details in the lunar surface — moonwatching is as interesting during an eclipse as anytime.
Now with the onset of monsoon and unpredictable weather , one can only hope the skies will be clear between 27 and 30 July so that we can observe the rare cosmic circus.