Sci-tech

Complete lunar eclipse begins, the longest of this century

Complete lunar eclipse begins, the longest of this century

Mars will shine bright all night at its closest point to Earth since 2003 and much of the globe will also see a total lunar eclipse turn our satellite into an orange-red "blood moon". But there's a catch: It'll be visible only in parts of South America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. There are several channels which are organising live streaming of the lunar eclipse.

This lunar eclipse is not only the longest of the century, but it will also be a so-called blood moon, a phenomenon that earns its name due to a reddish hue that, according to NASA, comes from the Earth's sunlight being reflected onto the moon.

A combo of six pictures shows a "blood moon" total lunar eclipse in Bishkek late on July 27, 2018.

Members of public are invited to bring binoculars or telescopes to enjoy viewing the lunar eclipse.

At 11.30pm on Friday evening, earth will pass between the moon and sun, with the sun projecting the earth's shadow onto the moon.

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"The second cosmic highlight of the night is a total lunar eclipse, known as the Blood Moon, in the early hours of Saturday".

During a total lunar eclipse, the moon takes on its ghostly red pallor because of the Earth's shadow.

At 12.19am, the moon will be out of the earth's umbral shadow and the observable eclipse will be over.

But the eclipse that will stretch from South America to New Zealand on Friday will last nearly four hours, coming in at three hours and 55 minutes. Join Miguel here as he takes us through his photograph "Total Lunar Eclipse of 2015". The whole event will last just under four hours from beginning to end.

This will be the first central lunar eclipse since June 15, 2011.

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According to Dr Duncan Steel from the Centre for Space Science Technology, total lunar eclipses in NZ occur roughly once every three years, whereas partial lunar eclipses are more common, happening roughly every year and a half.

The next lunar eclipse will be seen on December 31, 2028. The total "blood moon" will be visible to the naked eyes from India and parts of South-America, Europe, and Australia.

In the Book of Joel, it is written that "the sun will turn into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and awful day of the Lord comes".

"There is no reason to believe that "blood moons" foretell doom", said Massey.

Partial eclipse, where the moon will be partly covered, will last for 3 hours and 54 minutes.

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Mr Scagell said: "You may see this very eerie-looking deep-red moon rising".


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