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Where can you see Friday's 'blood moon'?

27 July 2018

People in Pakistan will be able to gaze at the longest "blood moon" eclipse of the 21 century starting from 8:14pm Friday until 4am Saturday.

The celestial spectacle will be taking place alongside the Blood Moon, as well as the Mars opposition.

The next lunar eclipse of such length will happen in 2123. Will continue till early hours of July 28.

The moon will turn blood red in the shadow of the Earth on Friday night, treating most of the world to the longest lunar eclipse in a century.

And unlike solar eclipses, especially the total solar eclipse in August 2017, the lunar eclipse is safe to view with the naked eye or binoculars. The Moon will be gradually covered by the Earth's shadow and the totality phase will begin at 1h 00m IST on July 28.

The total eclipse is expected to last a record-breaking one hour and 43 minutes, seen in Italy from 21:30, when the moon enters the shadow of the Earth and turns red, until 23:13, when it will start to emerge and regain its normal appearance.

In addition, the Earth is closer to the Sun during the northern hemisphere summer so its shadow is larger than average, he said.

The rare event occurs when Mars reaches its closest point to the sun as the same time as Earth's orbit brings it directly between the two.

"We have a rare and interesting conjunction of phenomena", Pascal Descamps, an astronomer with the Paris Observatory, told AFP.

East coast viewers will see the blood moon at its fullest at about 5.30am, with the Earth, moon and sun in flawless alignment. That way you can see the moon move full into the Earth's shadow.

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Instead, it will appear to be a deep copper red as it reflects the scattered light of all the sunsets and sunrises on Earth back at us.

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Viewers in the Middle East, eastern Africa, southern Asia and India will be in prime position to witness the entire eclipse.

Also, on July 27, Mars will pass closer to Earth than it has done for 15 years.

While the Moon is in the Earth's shadow, it will take on a reddish tint, known as a "Blood Moon" or Red Moon.

Blood moon will appear tonight as moon will be seen with a redding tint during Total Lunar Eclipse.

The total eclipse will follow at 11.30pm, with maximum viewing at 12.21am.

"Most of the time, they're obscured by the brightness, so again, it's relatively unusual to have them both in the western sky where people can see them both".

Robin Scagell, vice-president of the Society for Popular Astronomy, said: "It's a bright white star-like object but it doesn't twinkle and it's really unmistakable".

According to the SA Astronomical Observatory (SAAO), the eclipse could be seen with or without a visual aid.

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Where can you see Friday's 'blood moon'?