The longest lunar eclipse of the century is going to take place later this month, on the night of 27 to 28 July.
A lunar eclipse occurs when the sun, earth, and moon are aligned, and the moon passes into the shadow of the earth, giving it a red hue. This is also sometimes called a ‘blood moon’. According to EarthSky, those in the Eastern Hemisphere will be able to see the longest lunar eclipse of the century during July’s full moon.
It will take place during a ‘lunar apogee,’ when the moon is furthest from the earth during its monthly orbit. This will contribute to its unusually long length. The whole eclipse is predicted to last for 1 hour and 43 minutes.
However, this occurrence is not as rare as January’s super blue blood moon. This rare combination of a blue moon, a total lunar eclipse and a supermoon all took place simultaneously for the first time in 150 years. But, even this rare celestial phenomenon only lasted about 1 hour and 16 minutes.
When to watch the longest lunar eclipse of the century
The full lunar eclipse will be bookended by a partial eclipse, so you can catch a glimpse of it both before and after the main event. In total, it will be visible for almost 4 hours over Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
However, it will not be visible to those in North America. Instead, they can prepare for the next total solar eclipse that will take place over Chile and Argentina in 2019.
The partial eclipse will begin at 6:24 pm UTC (or GMT); the total eclipse will start at 7:30 pm and be at its peak around 8:21 pm. The total eclipse will end at 9:13 pm, while the partial eclipse will last until 10:19 pm UTC.
People in South America will be able to see the very end of the eclipse after sunset on the 27th. Concurrently, those in New Zealand will only be able to see its start before sunrise on the 28th.