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Century's longest 'Blood Moon' eclipse to start shortly

28 July 2018

This is thanks to the longest total lunar eclipse of the 21st century, which is set to go down July 27. However, this eclipse will last for a very long time: one hour and 43 minutes.

Meanwhile, Mars is now traveling closer to Earth than it has since 2003, so some observers overnight might have also seen what looked like an orange-red star, but was in fact the red planet.

Totality, the period of time that the moon is fully in Earth's shadow, will last for approximately 103 minutes (1 hour, 42 minutes), with partial phases occurring before and after.

Visible from most countries across the globe, the spectacle was at its most impressive when viewed from the Middle East, East Africa, Western China, and India.

A full moon can be seen during a "blood moon" eclipse beside the Golden temple in Amritsar.

The Moon gradually returns to its normal color and brightens as it emerges from Earth's shadow.

This combo picture shows the transitions of full moon during a "blood moon" eclipse as seen from Jakarta on July 27, 2018.

The moon is seen turning red over the Sydney skyline during a total lunar eclipse
The moon is seen turning red over the Sydney skyline during a total lunar eclipse

- AFP People watch the blood moon rising at Arpoador beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Amateur astronomers will guide people about the eclipse. So it is not just the red moon but the red planet also making its presence felt in the night sky tomorrow.

Here are some of the most googled questions about the lunar eclipse answered. When this happens, the moon appears to glow red and is thus called the blood moon.

From Russia to Sydney, Germany to Abu Dhabi, thousands of people witnessed a attractive crimson globe as the full moon crossed the centre of the Earth's shadow. The eclipse is estimated to start in India at 11:44pm IST on Friday night and the total lunar eclipse 2018 is expected to begin at 1am IST.

On Primrose Hill, north London, would-be-moon admirers broke into a rendition of "Total eclipse of the heart" to lift the soggy mood.

We live in a very lovely part of the Universe. Those who live in Asia and Australia will be able to see the eclipse between midnight and sunrise on July 28.

"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 and I'll certainly be looking out for it!"

Century's longest 'Blood Moon' eclipse to start shortly