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

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This event is not to be confused with a total solar eclipse like the one that was visible across a swath of the continental United States last summer. Some parts of North-east India may not be able see the entire lunar eclipse. However, their appearances are very different.

The Red Planet will make its close approach on July 31 at a distance of about 35.8 million miles, according to NASA. Viewers in a somewhat wider chunk of the planet, including both China and South America, might get a glimpse of the eclipse as the moon rises or sets. Not only did it create an atmosphere, but the escaping steam could have condensed into pools of liquid water on the Moon's surface, becoming a ideal breeding ground for microorganisms. During Friday's eclipse, the moon will be passing nearly directly through the middle of the shadow, maximising the time that moon spends in darkness.

While today's Moon is silent and sterile, around 4 billion years ago it would have been fiery and active following its dramatic birth.

"If you were on the Moon, you would see a total solar eclipse as the Earth would be blocking the Sun", Brad Tucker from CNN, an astronomer at the Australian National University's Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics. When this happens, the moon turns rusty orange or deep reed in color and is how it earned the nickname of a blood moon eclipse. Blue light bends more than red light, so the blue light is more scattered.

It is believed that moon stopped being habitable around 3 billion years ago, when it cooled too much to keep on giving off the gases needed to maintain its atmosphere. This weekend's eclipse will last so long because the Moon is almost at apogee, the point in its orbit when it is furthest from the Earth. Unlike a solar eclipse, the lunar event can be viewed without wearing protective eye gear. As a result, the sunlight will be blocked from reaching the moon's surface and will cast a shadow over it.

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In the distant past, people associated eclipses with tragedies, as they did not understand what caused them and thought that everything in the sky had a hidden meaning. While, a section of scientists have also indicated the possibility of high tides and sea erosion along Kerala coast. The eclipse will be visible across wide swathes of the world, including Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, South America and the Middle East.

Well, sky-watchers in the Americas are out of luck this time around. People there can watch on one of several live webcasts.

For people in the United Kingdom, the "blood moon" will rise in the south-eastern sky already immersed completely in the Earth's shadow.

The total lunar eclipse begins at 19:30 UTC and ends at 21:13 UTC followed by another partial eclipse that ends at 22:19 UTC. A total lunar eclipse happens in case the moon enters the shadow of the Earth completely.

Going forward, however, there will not be another total lunar eclipse longer than Friday's event until 2123, weather information website theweathernetwork.com said.

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