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The longest lunar eclipse of the century is expected to happen this year

Gillan Lasic

Inquirer.net/Asia News Network

| Sat, May 26, 2018 | 12:05 am
The longest lunar eclipse of the century is expected to happen this year

On July 27, 2018, we’ll be treated to a total lunar eclipse that will last for one hour and 43 minutes. (Shutterstock/Chris Collins)

A total lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes through the Earth’s shadow and it also only happens when the Sun, Earth, and the moon are aligned with each other. During a total lunar eclipse, the sunlight that reaches the moon is refracted by Earth’s atmosphere and the atmosphere filters out the sun’s blue light—making the moon appear red.

The recent total lunar eclipse known as the “super blue blood moon” left many in awe as the moon turned into deep red color. It happens when a blue moon syncs with a supermoon and a total lunar eclipse. The phenomenon first occured in 1982 and won’t happen again in 2037.

In a few months, the world will witness the longest lunar eclipse of the century. On July 27, 2018, we’ll be treated to a total lunar eclipse that will last for one hour and 43 minutes. It will be most visible in Africa, the Middle East, India, Australia, southern and eastern Europe.

Read also: Once in a blue moon

This lunar eclipse will be particularly long because the moon will pass almost directly through the center of the earth’s shadow, umbra. The Earth’s positioning also plays a major factor on that day as it will be at its furthest point from the Sun—allowing it to cast a bigger shadow. The moon being at its most distant point in its monthly orbit around the Earth also contributes to this especially long eclipse.

The previously recorded longest eclipse lasted for one hour and 46.4 minutes on July 16, 2000. It’s just a few minutes shy of the maximum possible time for a lunar eclipse which is one hour and 47 minutes.

NASA keeps a list of lunar eclipses predictions until 2100 and the Longest Partial Lunar Eclipse is expected to be seen on Nov 19, 2021 while the Largest Total Lunar Eclipse will be on Jun 26, 2029.

This article appeared on the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper website, which is a member of Asia News Network and a media partner of The Jakarta Post
 
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