All You Need to Know Before You Spot the Lunar Eclipse Tonight

India is in for a treat on the intervening night of 27-28 July, with the longest total lunar eclipse of the 21st century expected to be visible at all parts of the country. The sighting of the total lunar eclipse, which will also be a blood moon, will depend on atmospheric conditions, clouds, and pollution.

The lunar eclipse, which can be seen by night sky gazers in Africa, Middle East and Asia, will not be visible in North America and Antarctica.

How Long is the Lunar Eclipse? When Can it be Viewed?

The full show will last nearly six hours, but the total lunar eclipse will be 1 hour and 43 minutes long, according to Debiprosad Duari, Director, Research & Academic, MP Birla Planetarium, Kolkata.

It will be preceded and followed by partial eclipses that last over one hour.

The lunar eclipse is estimated to begin at 11:44 pm on Friday (27 July) and end at 4:58 am on Saturday (28 July). The total lunar eclipse is likely to begin at 1am.

What is a Total Lunar Eclipse?

A total lunar eclipse occurs when the earth comes in between the sun and the moon, completely immersing the moon in the umbra of the earth’s shadow.

The total lunar eclipse on 31 January lasted 1 hour and 16 minutes, when the moon passed to the south of shadow's centre.

What is a Blood Moon?

A lunar eclipse is also called ‘Blood Moon’ when the moon, eclipsed by the earth, takes on a reddish hue as the sunlight falling on it gets filtered by the earth’s atmosphere.

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

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 4,06,223 km.

(With inputs from IANS.)

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