Blood moon dazzles skygazers in century’s longest eclipse

The Longest Lunar Eclipse of the 21st Century Is Tonight. How to Watch

Astronomers and stargazers across the world were mesmerised by the longest blood moon eclipse on Friday night, coinciding with Mars' closest approach in 15 years in a thrilling celestial spectacle.

Meanwhile, the total lunar eclipse lasted 1 hour, 42 minutes and 57 seconds, though a partial eclipse preceded and follows, meaning the moon will spend a total of almost 4 hours in the Earth's umbral shadow, according to NASA.

No protective eyewear is needed and the eclipsed moon will be visible in large parts of Europe and South America between sunset and midnight, as well as much of Asia and Australia, between midnight and sunrise on Saturday. The only light reflected from the lunar surface has been refracted by Earth's atmosphere. - AFP A man looks through a telescope at a "blood moon" eclipse in Oloika town in Magadi, Kenya.

"There is no reason to believe Blood Moons foretell doom", he said.

As skywatchers around the world witnessed last night's spectacular lunar eclipse, residents in the Upper East Region town of Bawku, have interpreted the cosmic event differently.

The good news for Brits is that they will be able to see that blood moon in its entirety - as long as there are clear skies.

"In the middle of a lunar eclipse it can look as if a red planet has taken up residence near the Earth - they are both eerie and attractive", said Robert Massey of the Royal Astronomical Society in London. - AFP View of the "blood moon" during the lunar eclipse in Yozgat, Turkey.

A combination photo shows the lunar eclipse from a blood moon (top L) back to full moon (bottom right) in the sky over Frankfurt, Germany.

If you're in North America and want to watch the lunar eclipse, you still can.

He said the moon would begin to enter earth's shadow (known as the penumbra) around 5.15am and would gradually dim until about 6.25am. In metro cities, space enthusiasts may miss out on watching the moon being eclipsed due to pollution.

"During a very dark eclipse the moon may be nearly invisible".

There will also be a partial lunar eclipse on July 16, 2019, the 50th anniversary of the launch of Apollo 11, the mission that sent the first humans to the moon.

According to NASA scientists: "The exact colour that the moon appears depends on the amount of dust and clouds in the atmosphere".

While the phrase "blood moon" doesn't actually appear at all in the Bible, there are three distinct mentions of the moon turning the color of blood - and they're all pretty similar.

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