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Bengaluru shuns sleep to watch the total lunar eclipse

28 July 2018

The lunar eclipse is coined "blood moon" for the color change of the moon, as seen from Earth, while it is immersed in Earth's shadow.

- AFP A picture taken early on July 28, 2018, shows the moon during the total lunar eclipse, also known as the "blood moon", taken as it passes over an Armenian Apostolic Church cathedral in Yerevan.

The total phase of the eclipse lasted for one hour and 43 minutes, while the entire eclipse, including the partial phases, lasted for over six hours.

People in the Europe, the Middle East and the rest of Africa witnessed the celestial phenomenon between sunset and midnight, while those in Australia and eastern Asia saw the eclipse between midnight and dawn.

In Nairobi, Kenyans watched as the moon darkened. "It's just handsome. It's well worth it".

On the banks of India's Ganges, temples were closed ahead of eclipse. In Singapore, enthusiasts watched through telescopes at the Marina South Pier.

"Our event is sold out, we have about a couple of hundred people that are booked in to come and watch it with us", said Andrew Jacob, curator at the Sydney Observatory, located near the Harbour Bridge. The complete lunar eclipse Friday when the sun, Earth and moon line up perfectly to cast Earth's shadow on the moon, will be the longest this century.

As the moon lined up with the Earth and the Sun, the moon darkened in colour switching from its silvery glow to a rustic, dark red colour creating a rare blood moon.

Alexander tweeted: "A partially eclipsed Moon, with our neighbouring planet in the background, just before diving into Earth's atmosphere".

Whether a full moon turns coppery red depends entirely on the atmospheric conditions and how much dust is in the air to bounce off the light from the sun.

TRT World spoke with Dr Nathan Case, a space physicist from Lancaster University, for more insights.

For thousands of years, man has looked to the heavens for omens of doom, victory, and joy.

As with most eclipses, conspiracy theorists believe it is a sign of the end times and is referred to as the Blood Moon prophecy.

The eclipse and the coppery-red hue were made all the most special by Mars being visible in the sky at the same time.

The lunar eclipse 2018 will happen tonight, marking the longest total such eclipse till 2123, i.e. for over 100 years.

"It is a conjunction of rare and interesting phenomena", said Pascal Descamps, astronomer at the Institute of Celestial Mechanics and Calculation of eEhemeris (IMCCE) within the Observatory of Paris-PSL.

However, he said it was still worth seeing as the next blood moon would not be visible in New Zealand until May 2021.

Total Lunar Eclipse of July 27, 2018.

Though there is much we understand about lunar eclipses, some mysteries still remain.

Bengaluru shuns sleep to watch the total lunar eclipse