Tomorrow's Lunar Eclipse Will Make History. Here's What Makes It So Special

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It should also be at least partially visible from Europe, Australia, South America and most of eastern Asia, although the total eclipse phase will not last as long.

"The Earth doesn't rotate far enough this time around for anyone in North America - the U.S. and Alaska - to see the eclipse but there are other eclipses that we don't see, there's always a little bit of the Earth that misses out".

The July 27/28, 2018 total lunar eclipse is the 17th total lunar eclipse since 2001, the beginning of this century, which will see 85 total lunar eclipses.

Mars will more likely appear as a very bright star.

The next lengthy lunar eclipse is scheduled for 2123.

Beside Lake Magadi, 100 kilometres (60 miles) southwest of the Kenyan capital Nairobi, young members of the Maasai community watched the eclipse through a high-powered telescope provided by a local couple. The lunar eclipse in India will start at around 10:44 pm on Friday and stay till around 2:43 am.

The longest eclipse of the 20th century fell on July 16, 2000.

At 8.24pm, the moon will start moving into the umbral shadow of the earth.

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Dr Kenda Knowles, of the Astrophysics and Cosmology Research Unit at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, said all eclipses were special, but tomorrow's one would be one of the longest, which would make for great viewing.

The occurrence is sometimes called a "blood moon" because - according to a NASA blog - "the light passing through the Earth's atmosphere and falling on the Moon can give it a reddish hue". The total lunar eclipse happens when the moon passes through the middle of the Earth's shadow, making it darker than it is during the partial eclipse, when the moon is in the Earth's shadow but not in the shadow's middle (which is darker than it is on either side).

The period of complete eclipse - known as "totality", when the moon appears darkest - lasted from 1930 to 2113 GMT.

The lunar eclipse will coincide with the closest approach of Mars to Earth, PTI reported. "The partial eclipse ends at 11.19 p.m.", he said.

It depends partly on "how cloudy or transparent those parts of the Earth's atmosphere are which enable sunlight to reach the moon", he told AFP.

Adelaide and Darwin emerged as the winners of the "blood moon" spectacle Down Under, with skies remaining clear during the crucial eclipse window.

"And the density of dust increasing in the atmosphere can cause the moon to appear a particularly deep red, and indeed it has the same effect on our sunsets and sunrises".

GIUSEPPE CACACE/AFP/Getty Images A full moon rises behind the ancient temple of Poseidon in cape Sounio, about 65 kilometers south of Athens, Friday, July 27, 2018.

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