Tonight, you will be able to see a grand phenomenon in the sky. The heavens will be putting up a magical show, and you can take the front row as once-in-a-century events unfold in the sky.
The longest total lunar eclipse of the 21st century, also known as a blood moon, will occur tonight. The nearly two-hour total eclipse will be visible to people in parts of Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes through the Earth’s shadow and takes on a reddish glow, earning it the nickname “blood moon.” A total lunar eclipse takes a few hours to unfold and is particularly dramatic. It happens when the sun, Earth, and moon are perfectly lined up, which means the Earth’s shadow completely covers the moon.
Unlike with a solar eclipse, when the moon passes between the Earth and sun, blocking the sun’s light, the moon is not “turned dark” during an eclipse, but instead appears to turn red.
What is particularly remarkable about tonight’s lunar eclipse is how long its totality phase will last. The eclipse will begin at 11.44 p.m. tonight. The Moon will get to the height of the eclipse at around 1.51 am, at which point it would have reached the centre of the Umbra. This will persist until 2.43 am, after which the Moon will begin to move outside the Earth’s shadow. The moon will again become fully visible only at 3.49 a.m. tomorrow morning. The moon will be in the Earth’s shadow for four hours and totally eclipsed for one hour and 43 minutes. This makes it the longest blood moon of this century.
Image Credit: blogspot
Eclipses have a place of fear and reverence in our society. They are beautiful events, that evoke the insignificance of human life and the enormity of the space outside. You can safely watch the blood moon, provided the weather conditions permit it. It is recommended to move away from city lights to watch this grand spectacle clearly.