On the night of July 27 and the morning of the 28th, Australians will experience a total lunar eclipse that will last almost two hours, making it the longest of the 21st century.
We’re used to seeing a full moon appear in our night sky once every month. But what’s not so commonly known is that about twice a year our moon is tinted with a distinct red hue for no longer than a few minutes.
This happens when the Sun, Earth and Moon align in that order, with Earth’s atmosphere filtering and refracting the light of the Sun to give our natural satellite its temporary reddish tinge.
In that unique instance, the moon is obscured by the darkest region of Earth’s shadow, the umbra, while also receiving part of the Sun’s outer glow.
This upcoming ‘blood moon’ will last one hour and 43 minutes and will be visible from many parts of the eastern hemisphere. Asia, Europe, Africa, New Zealand and Australia will have their skies graced with the amazing celestial treat.
As a bonus feature from the heavens, Mars will also appear larger and brighter than usual as it moves towards its closest approach to Earth in 15 years.
Between July 27 and July 30, we’ll be able to see the red planet with the naked eye, arriving at its closest point to our planet on July 31, at a distance of 57.6 million kilometres.
You’ll be able to schedule your total eclipse viewing party on the site Timeanddate, and if taking a peek at the sky is impractical, you can always watch it live online thanks to the Virtual Telescope Project.
If you’re looking for the July 2018 Blood Moon, we have all of the information on Techy to make sure you don’t miss a second of the longest lunar eclipse in a century.