Indians witness longest-ever 'blood moon' or total lunar eclipse

The moon turns red during a total lunar eclipse as seen from Dresden Germany Friday

That's about the middle of the afternoon here in Minnesota and western Wisconsin.

The 99% Waxing Gibbous moon over Whitley Bay ahead of Friday's Blood moon total lunar eclipse. At that time, this month's full moon - also known as the blood buck moon - will pass through the center of the Earth's shadow.

Sadly, if you live in the Northern Hemisphere, you'll miss the lunar eclipse because it will take place during our daylight hours.

#08:30 PM: Lunar Eclipse 2018: Is it safe to watch with naked eyes?: Unlike a solar eclipse, the total lunar eclipse or Chandra Grahan is safe to watch with naked eyes.

The moon turns red during a total lunar eclipse behind the Saentis in Luzern Switzerland Friday
The moon turns red during a total lunar eclipse behind the Saentis in Luzern Switzerland Friday

The same day, Mars will be at its brightest as it travels close to earth, so observers may be able to see what looks like an orange-red star which is in fact the so called red planet. "This does not herald the apocalypse: seeing a lunar eclipse and Mars in the sky is something people should enjoy rather than worry about medieval superstitions".

"This eclipse is special because just by chance it happens that the moon will cross the shadow of the Earth nearly along its diameter, which makes the eclipse a few minutes longer than usual", Francisco Diego, an astronomer at University College London in the United Kingdom, told NBC News.

The "totality" period, where light from the Moon was totally obscured, lasted for one hour, 43 minutes. The live stream starts at 11:30pm IST on July 27 2018, so you can hit the play button in the video embedded below at the designated time to start your viewing of the eclipse. Some light, though, will still reach it because it is bent by the earth's atmosphere.

The moon turns deep red or reddish brown during eclipses, instead of going completely dark. With a maximum eclipse lasting one hour, 42 minutes, and 57 seconds, this event marks the longest eclipse of its kind that will happen this century. On the same night and over the coming days, Mars will be at its closest point to Earth since 2003. Skywatchers in South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia will also be able to see a partial lunar eclipse on July 16, 2019.

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