Exactly a month from now, we’ll be coming across the longest lunar eclipse of the 21 century, referred to as the Blood Moon eclipse. On July 27, the Moon will be seen split into dark shades of red and brown, for a total of 1 hour and 43 minutes. The entire celestial event is said to last for more than four hours.
The Blood Moon eclipse is caused with the earth blocking the sun’s rays and in turn reflecting indirect light on moon, causing it to change colors. The moon turns red mostly because earth’s air scatters out shorter wavelength light, filtering out green and violet colors and only allowing the red and orange colors to reach the moon. This phenomenon is referred to as “Rayleigh scattering”.
The reason why Blood Moon will be the longest lunar eclipse is because this time the moon will be passing directly through the darkest part of the earth’s shadow, known as Umbra. Not just that, the moon will also be at its farthest point away from the earth. Being the smallest full moon of the year, it will take time for it to pass through the earth’s shadow and will be visible for a longer period of time.
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The eclipse will be visible in parts of Africa, Middle East and countries in central Asia. Because of its timing, people won’t be able to view the lunar eclipse in North America. In India, the eclipse is expected to last for 6 hours. It will begin at 10:44PM on July 27 and will go on till almost around 5AM, next morning. It will be at its maximum peak at 1:51AM on July 28.