Blood moon brings longest lunar eclipse

Called the Blood Moon, this lunar event will appear on the intermediary night of July 27-28.

Lunar eclipses are relatively common, occurring "a bit more frequently than twice every three years", on average, says Bustle.

The moon will turn red this month during the longest lunar eclipse of the 21st century.

There was a total lunar eclipse in January of this year.

The partial eclipse of the Blood Moon will begin below the horizon at around 7.24pm BST, followed by the so-called total eclipse phase between 8.30pm and 9pm BST. However, some sunlight still reaches the lunar surface indirectly via the Earth's atmosphere, where due to scattering of lights only red colour light reaches moon turning it reddish, yellow or orange.

The lunar eclipse will start from 10.44 pm, when moon will enter the penumbra a faint shadow casted by Earth, continue well past midnight until moon comes out of penumbra on the next day at 4.58 am. It will also be visible further north and west but for a shorter time.

"One final thing is that the Earth's orbit around the sun isn't ideal either, it's an elliptic orbit, and during the summer the Earth is at it's farthest orbit from the sun - it's aphelion". While Earth takes a little more than 365 days to go around the sun, Mars takes 687 days.

But don't worry, it's not a sign of the apocalypse but a natural wonder caused when Earth passes between the sun and moon. Mars will be at the closest distance from us on July 27, when the Earth passed between the Sun and Mars. But the closest approach will be on July 31, when it will be so bright and big that it can be plainly viewed with the naked eye between sunset andsunrise,"Duari said".

Mars will be only 57.6 million kilometres from Earth on this date. Back in 2003, the distance had shrunk to 55.7 million kilometre, the closest in nearly 60,000 years! Though the next opposition will be on October 6, 2020, it will be slightly farther away at 61.76 million km. Mars' next closest approach will be in 2035. The next time Mars is closer than it was in 2003 will be only in 2287!

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