The Longest Total Lunar Eclipse of 21st Century is Almost Here!

The longest total lunar eclipse of the 21st century is scheduled to take place on 27 July, Friday. Unfortunately, the eclipse will not be visible in all places across the world. A few places in the Middle East and Greece, however, will be able to witness the once in a lifetime celestial event.

As far as India is concerned, the celestial spectacle will be visible in its entirety from all parts of the country. Depending on atmospheric conditions, this could be an especially dark total lunar eclipse.

The eclipse will last for 1 hour and 43 minutes, giving viewers a wonderful opportunity to experience the happening, according to Debiprosad Duari, Director, Research & Academic, MP Birla Planetarium, Kolkata.

It will be preceded and followed by partial eclipses lasting more than one hour.

The lunar eclipse is also known as the blood moon and will appear only when the Sun, Moon and Earth are aligned exactly with the Earth situated between the Sun and the Moon.

Earlier this year, there was a total lunar eclipse on 31 January. It lasted 1 hour and 16 minutes when the moon passed to the south of shadow's centre.

What is a Total Lunar Eclipse?

A total lunar eclipse is a celestial event that occurs when the Earth comes in between the Sun and the Moon, completely immersing the Moon in the umbra of the Earth’s shadow.

What is a Blood Moon?

A lunar eclipse is also called blood moon because the moon when eclipsed by the Earth takes on a reddish hue as the Sunlight falling on it gets filtered by the atmosphere of the Earth.

Is it Safe to Watch Lunar Eclipse With the Naked Eye?

Lunar eclipses are completely safe to view with the naked eye.

"No special filters are required to protect your eyes like those used for solar eclipses. One does not need a telescope to watch the eclipse, although a good pair of binoculars will enhance the experience. " - Debiprosad Duari, Director, Research & Academic, MP Birla Planetarium, Kolkata

Interestingly, the full moon will plunge deeply into the Earth's shadow on the night of 27-28 July. The distance of the Moon from Earth just before the eclipse will be around 406,223 km.

(With inputs from IANS)

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