'Blood moon' to appear for 21st Century's longest lunar eclipse

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Nigeria to experience longest total lunar eclipse Friday – Scientist

Astronomy buffs will be treated to two significant celestial events, a total lunar eclipse and the opposition of Mars, in the early hours of Saturday, the Central Weather Bureau said Friday.

Parts of Europe, Eastern Africa, Australia, and South America will see different phases of the eclipse, but will miss out on parts of the penumbral, partial, or total phases. Friday's eclipse will offer sky-watchers more time than usual to look.

The totality, which, you may recall, is when the Earth's shadow covers the moon and casts the world into darkness, will last one hour and 43 minutes.

It was also a supermoon - meaning the Earth's natural satellite appeared 14% bigger and 30% brighter in the sky as it reached its closest point to our planet.

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Kiwi eclipse watchers were disappointed this morning when the moon disappeared behind clouds at the crucial moment. The total eclipse will last nearly one hour and 43 minutes. The total eclipse is scheduled to end at 5.13 a.m.

"If you were standing on the moon in this eclipse, you would see the sun and then the earth would come in the way and blot out the sun", said Fabian. This phenomenon also causes what's commonly called a "blood moon" because of the reddish glow the moon appears to emit during sunset and sunrise.

In Strasbourg, France, the Moon could be seen looming over this sculpture by the American artist Jonathan Borofsky.

As NPR reported, NASA expected Friday's lunar eclipse to be the longest this century.

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During an eclipse, most of the light from the Sun is blocked by the Earth as the moon travels through the Earth's shadow.

First of all, we need to get straight what a blood moon is, and that's simple because it's just a total lunar eclipse.

This year's eclipse lasted for 103 minutes, only four minutes shy of the longest possible duration a lunar eclipse can ever last on Earth, and was visible to people in the UK, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australasia and South America.

He said: "The moon passes into the shadow of the Earth, blocking the light from the sun". "The rim of the earth would be glowing because light is being scattered by the earth's atmosphere".

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The next eclipse to last that long will occur on June 9, 2123, but it will not be visible from Australia.

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