The world is about to witness the longest lunar eclipse in a century on July 27 (night) and early hours of July 28 with duration of one hour and 43 minutes. The lunar eclipse will be visible in India.
This day will also be a ‘Blood Moon,’ where the earth’s satellite takes on a reddish hue. A lunar eclipse happens when the moon passes directly behind the earth and the moon is eclipsed by the shadow of the earth.
The timing of the Lunar Eclipse
The event is said to begin at 11:44 pm IST on July 27. The first phase of the lunar eclipse is expected to set in from 11:54 pm. The total lunar eclipse is estimated to set in from 1:00 am IST on July 28. It is known that the total lunar eclipse will be visible in cities including Delhi, Pune, Bengaluru, and Mumbai among others.
Phases of the Lunar Eclipse
The first part or phase of the lunar eclipse will see the moon fall under the earth’s shadow. This phase is known as the penumbral eclipse (initial stage).
In the second phase, as the moon continues on its orbit, there will another partial lunar eclipse, which will be visible from around 2:43 am IST.
10 Facts about the Total Lunar Eclipse:
2nd Lunar Eclipse of the year
This Lunar Eclipse will be the second lunar eclipse of 2018. The first one was a Super Blue Blood Eclipse, took place on January 31, 2018.
Longest eclipse of the century
The moon will be completely covered by the Earth’s umbra for 103 minutes. The entire eclipse the longest total lunar eclipse of the 21st century. The entire eclipse, including the penumbral and partial phases, will take 6 hours and 14minutes from start to finish.
A Micromoon Eclipse
At 05:43 UTC on July 27, 2018, the Full Moon will reach its apogee—the point on its orbit farthest from the Earth. Known as a Micro Moon, this Full Moon may look smaller and less bright than a normal Full Moon.
Earth also farthest from the Sun
The Earth is farthest from the sun around the time of the eclipse. Earth’s umbra is the longest and widest when the Earth is at or close to the Aphelion. The longer and wider the shadow, the longer it takes the Moon to pass through it.
Mars will be visible
Mars is visible in the night sky almost all year round, it can get extremely bright every few years. This happens when Mars and the Sun are in opposition, meaning that they are on opposite sides of the Earth. This takes place every 26 months. In 2018, it happens on July 27.
Perseids may light up the sky
If you are lucky, you may be able to catch some shooting stars associated with the Perseids, an annual meteor shower, while the Moon is totally eclipsed. The meteor shower is usually active between July 17 and August 24 and will peak on the night of August 12 and early morning hours of August 13.
No need for eye protection
Total eclipses of the Moon are spectacular events and are easy to see with the naked eye. a lunar eclipse can be viewed without specialized eye protection.
Preceded and followed by a partial Solar Eclipse
Solar and lunar eclipses follow each other. The July 27/28, 2018 total lunar eclipse will follow a partial solar eclipse.
It is part of Lunar Saros Series
In astronomy, each lunar eclipse is assigned a Saros cycle. Saros cycles are defined by the recurring positions of the Sun, the Earth, and the Moon over that period of time. For that reason, lunar eclipses separated by a full Saros cycle have similar features. It includes the time of the year and the distance of the Moon from the Earth. These similar eclipses make up a Saros series. The July 27/28, 2018 total lunar eclipse is part of the Saros series 129.
Early morning, evening and night Eclipse
The eclipse will be visible from most of Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and parts of Africa and South America. People in Asia and Australia will be able to get a good view of the whole eclipse, weather permitting. In the night of July 27 or early hours of July 28, while those in the Middle East will be able to see it around midnight between July 27 and July 28.