Longest Lunar Eclipse of the Century

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

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. Enthusiasts watched through telescopes at the Marina South Pier in Singapore and at the Al Sadeem Observatory in Al Wathba near Abu Dhabi.

Before and after this total eclipse phase, the Moon passes into a transitional phase called penumbra: the total duration of these three phases (penumbra, total, penumbra) varies from place to place.

Aussies across the country set their alarms early and were treated to an wonderful view of the rare eclipse.

The term "blood moon" was popularised by Christian pastor John Hagee in 2013 following the release of the book Four Blood Moons, which highlighted a lunar sequence of four total eclipses that occurred in 2014/15. The Bible contains references to the moon turning blood and some ultra-Orthodox Jews consider lunar eclipses ominous and a cause for moral contemplation. During this time, the shadow of the earth will be between the moon and the sun.

At the same time, Mars hovered near the moon in the night sky, easily visible to the naked eye. In Somalia, some hurried to mosques for special prayers often observed during lunar eclipses.

The next total lunar eclipse will occur on January 19 2019.

And that is why it's also known as the blood moon.

The longest lunar eclipse of this century will coincide with Mars' closest approach to Earth in 15 years on Friday.

Millions of stargazers around the world have caught a glimpse of the rare lunar eclipse - the longest one of the 21st century.

Astronaut Alexander Gerst tweeted: "A partially eclipsed Moon, with our neighbouring planet in the background, just before diving into Earth's atmosphere".

The website will have live footage of the blood moon on Friday and Saturday. Usually a lunar eclipse totality only lasts for around an hour.

Amateur astronomers in the southern hemisphere will be best-placed to enjoy the spectacle, especially those in southern Africa, Australia, India and Madagascar, though it will also be partly visible in Europe and South America. Acts 2:20 says: "The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come".

Two very similar passages appear later in the New Testament, in the books of Acts and Revelations.

During this total eclipse, the Moon - earth's natural satellite - will turn striking shade of red.