Cloud cover set to block Northern Ireland's view of rare blood moon

Cloud cover set to block Northern Ireland's view of rare blood moon

Cloud cover set to block Northern Ireland's view of rare blood moon

The UAE Space Agency is sponsoring a series of observation points at a number of astronomy centres throughout the UAE, to provide residents with the opportunity to witness the longest total lunar eclipse of the century on Friday, 27th July.

Interestingly, some people feel that the longest lunar eclipse has its own disadvantages. The Sun, the moon and Venus will be the only (natural) objects in the sky brighter than Mars.

People across the country -weather permitting - will be able to view a rare celestial event called a selenelion this morning.

"It is a very unusual coincidence to have a total lunar eclipse and Mars at opposition on the same night", said Robert Massey, deputy executive director of the Royal Astronomical Society, who watched the eclipse from the Mediterranean Sea. Friday's blood moon won't be as big.

The July 27/28 event was hyped as the longest lunar eclipse of the century, lasting a total of one hour and 43 minutes. Because of gravitational influences and the tilt of the planets' orbits, Mars sometimes comes even closer than usual to Earth - the 2003 opposition was the closest pass in almost 60,000 years.

He said that the occurrence necessitated the need for scientists to continue monitoring and exploring the dynamics of the motion and the phenomena associated with them.

Blood moon is a name given to the moon during a lunar eclipse.

At the same time, our next-door neighbor will be settling in near the Moon to make a guest appearance.

The areas in white indicate where the entire 103 minutes of the total lunar eclipse will be visible July 27.

Lunar eclipses occur from two to four times a year, but not all of them are visible.

Unfortunately, the eclipse will only be considered partial in New Zealand. "About an hour later, the partial phase will begin at 2.24am when the moon begins to be covered by the dark Earth's shadow, the Umbra", he said. In 2003, Mars came closest to our planet in nearly 60,000 years.

Not to be confused with a solar eclipse, when the moon passes between the Earth and sun, blocking the sun's light, the moon is not turned black but instead appears to turn red.

Amateur astronomers in the southern hemisphere are best-placed to witness the rare sight, especially in southern Africa, Australia, South Asia and Madagascar, though it will also be partly visible in Europe and South America.

In Invercargill, there was five minutes between sunrise at 8.12am and moonset shortly after, with the moon entirely within Earth's shadow.

Total eclipses of the Moon are spectacular events and are easy to see with the naked eye.

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