Blood Moon 2018: Complete lunar eclipse the longest of this century

Blood Moon rising Longest lunar eclipse of the century burns dark red

A full moon rises behind the Temple of Poseidon before a lunar eclipse in Cape Sounion near Athens. Reuters

Kota Kinabalu: Sky gazers in Sabah had the rare opportunity of witnessing an orange-red "blood moon" and Mars or the Red Planet appearing next to each other in the second total lunar eclipse this year since the first in January.

This century's longest total lunar eclipse clocked in at 6 hours and 13 minutes Friday, with totality lasting more than 100 minutes.

"Totality will last for 103 minutes, making it the longest eclipse of the 21st century!" the Royal Astronomical Society said.

Unlike like a solar eclipse, it is entirely safe to look directly at a lunar eclipse, and Friday's eclipse offered sky-watchers more time than usual to look.

Dr Jacob said: "Anyone on that night-side of the Earth would be able to see the moon go into the eclipse". It's making its closest approach to Earth in 15 years, just 35.8 million miles away from us.

The moon travels to a similar position every month, but the tilt of its orbit means it normally passes above or below the Earth's shadow. On average, the totality lasts approximately one hour to one hour and 30 minutes during moon eclipse.

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The brighter Mars will remain very close to the eclipsed Moon in the sky on July 27-28 and can be spotted very easily with the naked eye, the statement said.

The eclipse will have been visible from Africa to the Middle East, Europe, Russia, India, and Australia.

The spectacle will be perfectly visible across all of Italy, clouds permitting. In Johannesburg, residents took advantage of the clear winter night and watched the reddish shadow slide up the moon's surface. During a total lunar eclipse, Earth blocks direct sunlight from reaching the Moon. - AFP This combination of 14 pictures put together in photoshop and taken on July 27, 2018 shows the moon during a total lunar eclipse near to La Puente town, canary Spanish island of Tenerife.

Lunar eclipses can occur only during a full moon, and this one was extra special because it was also the blood moon. The atmosphere filters out most of the sun's blue light, so the moon looks red. In fact, this phenomenon of the moon appearing small is called micro moon. This is much longer than standard lunar eclipses which last for only around one hour.

According to Hindu beliefs, celestial bodies like the sun and moon emit negative energy during an eclipse and so some temples in India were closed to minimize any disturbance.

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