Red planet and 'blood moon' pair up to dazzle skygazers

Did life once exist on the moon?	 	 	 			A new study suggest the moon may have once had habitable conditions

Did life once exist on the moon? A new study suggest the moon may have once had habitable conditions

The eclipse on Friday is set to be the longest of the 21st Century, as the full moon happens to coincide next month with the point at which the moon's orbit is furthest away from the earth, so it will take longer to pass through the earth's shadow. Even better for us Beijingers is that the eclipse will be totally visible throughout its 103-minute duration (should the smog and freak weather we've had as of late hold off).

Friday, July 27, will be a unique event - the longest lunar Eclipse of the century, which can be observed in nearly all corners of the globe.

The next time there is a total lunar eclipse this long will not be until June 9, 2123.

It will also be visible from elsewhere in Africa and Asia and parts of Europe, although no one in North America will be able to see it because the continent will still be in daylight when it happens.

A total lunar eclipse is said to appear from July 27 to 28.

Friday night will see the longest "blood moon" eclipse this century and also the closest approach of the Red Planet Mars to Earth since 2003.

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The last total lunar eclipse graced the night skies with its presence on the night of January 31, 2018, and was the spectacular Super Blue Blue Blood Moon combo.

Robin Scagell, vice-president of the Society for Popular Astronomy, said: "A total lunar eclipse, Mars, Jupiter and the International Space Station".

In India, there is a popular superstition to avoid eating during the lunar eclipse.

Moore said that from 9.30pm until 10.15pm on Friday, the blood red colour of the moon will be dim and if there's any haze in the sky, it could make viewing hard. The Middle East, west and central Asia, as well as major parts of Africa will join India in spotting these celestial phenomena.

It depends partly on "how cloudy or transparent those parts of the Earth's atmosphere are which enable sunlight to reach the moon", Bailey told Agence France-Presse (AFP).

Qatar is one of the countries where the longest lunar eclipse will be witnessed in totality.

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"However instead of turning black as you might expect, the atmosphere of the Earth bends the light of the sun onto the moon causing it to turn a deep red colour". However, in North America can not be seen.

If it's clear, towards the end of the eclipse have a look for the planet Mars, which will be about six degrees (roughly the width of three fingers held at arm's length) below the moon.

Because blue and violet wavelengths are scattered more than red and orange, more of the red wavelengths reach the Moon, making it appear that shade.

At that time, it'll look like the moon has changed color in dramatic fashion, which is why a lunar eclipse is sometimes known as a "blood moon".

Those lucky enough to see the 2018 lunar eclipse could also be treated to a view of Mars and the Milky Way, which will be to the left of the moon.

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