Ciaran McGrath – June 21, 2018
NEXT month’s “blood moon” eclipse will be the biggest the world has witnessed so far this century, with large swathes of Europe in line for a spectacular visual display on the night of July 27.
And if that isn’t enough to whet the appetites of amateur stargazers, Mars will the closest to Earth it has been since 2003.
During a total lunar eclipse, the sunlight which reaches the Moon is refracted by Earth’s atmosphere, which filters out the Sun’s blue light – making the moon look red.
Next month’s eclipse will be especially long because the Moon will pass almost directly through the centre of the Earth’s shadow or umbra.
The Earth will be at its furthest point from the Sun on the day in question, allowing it to cast a bigger shadow.
And the Moon will be at its most distant point in its monthly orbit around the Earth.
Writing on the earthsky.org website, Bruce McClure said next month’s blood moon would last an hour and 43 minutes.He said: “This lunar eclipse is primarily visible from the world’s Eastern Hemisphere – Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
– July 11, 2017
August 21st is the date of “the Great American Eclipse”, and the hype around it is already starting to reach a fever pitch. It is being called “the Great American Eclipse” because this will be the first total solar eclipse ever that is only visible in the United States. In other words, since the United States became a nation there has never been a total eclipse that was only visible here and nowhere else. And this will be the first total solar eclipse to cross from the west coast to the east coast in 99 years. So for those that love astronomy, this is bigger than the Super Bowl.
Close to 200 million people live within a day’s drive of “the totality zone”, and many are projecting that this will be the most-viewed eclipse ever. In fact, many hotels and campsites along the path of the eclipse are already completely booked. So if you want to see it live, you better make your arrangements quickly.
Of course the “main event” will not last for very long. Depending on the location, the total eclipse will only last for about two or three minutes.