Nigeria witnesses longest lunar eclipse of the century

Path of the Moon into Earth’s Shadows and the times during the Total Lunar Eclipse on July 28 from Brunei Darussalam

Amateur astronomers in the southern hemisphere are best-placed to witness the rare sight, especially in southern Africa, Australia, South Asia and Madagascar, though it will also be partly visible in Europe and South America.

"If liquid water and a significant atmosphere were present on the early Moon for long periods of time, we think the lunar surface would have been at least transiently habitable", said study co-author Dirk Schulze-Makuch from the Washington State University in the US.

The moon will also be at the farthest point on its orbit from Earth, making its movement across the sky slower from our perspective, thus spending longer in the dark.

An illustration of the stages of the July 27, 2018, total lunar eclipse.

"Mars will look like this lovely bright red star just below the Moon", said Prof O'Brien.

It was the smallest full moon of the year so took more time to pass through the earth's dark shadow and lasted for one hour and 43 minutes.

Viewers will need no protective eye gear to observe the spectacle - unlike when watching solar eclipse. "During a very dark eclipse the moon may be nearly invisible".

During totality, which begins at around 3:30 p.m. EDT (19:30 UTC), the moon will be immersed in Earth's shadow and will be "illuminated by red light filtered by the [Earth's] atmosphere", Diego said.

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Blood moon: The best places to see the lunar phenomenon in Scotland tonight

The celestial event, where the moon will line up with the Earth and the sun, will be seen across the United Kingdom and other parts of the Eastern hemisphere.

During the eclipse, the moon turned into a deep-copper-toned object, in what is commonly (but not scientifically) known as "blood moon".

"The moon is not always in flawless alignment with the sun and the Earth, so that is why we do not get a lunar eclipse every lunar cycle", Brad Tucker, an astronomer with the Australian National University's Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, said in a statement.

NASA This illustration from NASA shows where in the world the July 27, 2018, eclipse will be visible.

The next lunar eclipse will be on January 21, 2019.

Our red moon will have some company Friday, when Mars is the closest to Earth that it's been in 15 years.

The warning area extends from Cambridge and Peterborough up to the Scottish Borders, Mr Madge said, adding that Wales, the south and west of England and most of Northern Ireland should have clear skies.

Mars already appears brighter and it will shine even more vividly as the big day approaches. Experts estimate that Mars' brightness will persist for several weeks.

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