Blood moon: what it is and how to watch

Christopher Davidson
July 11, 2018

The total eclipse will be the longest of the century for lasting around four hours. Three days later, Mars will be the closest to Earth in a decade.

During the July eclipse, the moon will be at its farthest position from the Earth - the so-called lunar apogee.

"Those two things combined mean we will see a longer eclipse since it takes longer for the moon to pass the Earth's shadow".

Blood Moon 2018 will last one hour and 43 minutes, almost 40 minutes longer than our most recent Super Blue Blood Moon combo that took place on January 31st of this year.

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To the superstitious, a lunar eclipse is seen as heralding an apocalyptic disaster - and this month will see the longest eclipse of the 21st century, lasting one hour and 43 minutes, as the moon passes through Earth's shadow. The distance between the moon and the Earth will be around 4,06,223km that night.

Bruce McClure again stated: "Sometimes called an apogean full moon, or micro-moon or mini-moon, this smaller and slower-moving full moon takes more time to cross the Earth's shadow than does a full moon that's closer to Earth and moving faster in orbit". "The partial and total eclipse will be visible to the naked eye in all parts of Odisha provided the sky remains clear", Pattnaik said. It will also be visible further north and west but for a shorter time. This is when the Sun, Earth and Mars will be lined up perfectly, with Mars on the opposite side of Earth from the Sun.

"The reason why it turns that reddish hue is because the Earth has an atmosphere and when the sun's light reaches the atmosphere, gases in the air actually scatter or bend the light, and it's red light that is scattered by just the right amount that it ends up being directed onto the surface of the moon".

Mars will be only 57.6 million kilometres from Earth on this date. Mars, the Fourth Planet from the Sun, will align with the Earth and the Sun on July 27, for an annual event known as Opposition. That's the closest approach of Mars since 2003, when it was 55.7 million km away, and there won't be a closer approach until 2035, when it comes to within 56.9 million km.

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