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‘Blood moon’, longest lunar eclipse of the century will fall this week

Starwatch: red marvel that is a lunar eclipse

However the one hour 43 minute duration of the eclipse is just four minutes off the maximum possible length, according to NASA.

"This will happen next July 27, 2018 when we will have a wonderful total lunar eclipse, with the moon showing its incredible red colour and Mars, the Red Planet, will reach its opposition, actually a so-called "great opposition", offering the best observing conditions since 2003". The good part is that for viewers in India, both partial and total eclipses will be visible in its entirety from all parts of the country.

Lunar eclipses generally last much longer than their solar counterpart. Furthermore, the Moon will be at apogee, the farthest from the Earth in its orbit, on July 27 and will be moving at a slower speed in its orbit.

This rare celestial event will be visible across Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and South America. "And this blood moon, which will be the longest blood moon of this century, is happening in the 70th year of Israel being a nation", he said.

When the white light from the Sun hits the Earth's atmosphere the blue colours in the white are scattered, meaning only the red colours will hit the moon giving it an eerie tint.

Starwatch: red marvel that is a lunar eclipse

After this, the moon will get deeper and deeper into the earths shadow. The total time of the entire eclipse will be nearly four hours.

The planet Mars is shown May 12, 2016 in this NASA Hubble Space Telescope view when it was 50 million miles from Earth.

The partial eclipse begins at 18:24 UTC (Universal Time), the total eclipse begins at 19:30 UTC, and the greatest eclipse will be at 20:22 UTC. Residents in most of the world will be able to see at least a partial eclipse. This eclipse will also be the longest eclipse we have had this century! The moon will start to turn red from about 5.30am.

An aggregate lunar eclipse happens when the moon and the sun are on correct inverse sides of Earth.

After this, you will witness the next lunar eclipse on December 31, 2028. In one of the sky's wonderful coincidences, the Mars opposition happens on July 27 too. The last time Mars was bigger and brighter than this was in 2003, when it was less than 56 million kilometres away from Earth.