BLOOD MOON: Next red moon will be biggest of the 21st century

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.

https://www.express.co.uk

Star Gazers Rejoice! Earth’s Closest Encounter With Mars in 15 Years

Sputnik News – June 17, 2018

July will be the closest Mars has come to Earth in 15 years, providing a golden opportunity for spectacular nighttime watching, according to The Weather Channel.

The reason is that Earth will pass between Mars and the sun and will be closest to the red planet on July 31 — an estimated 35.8 million miles away. Mars will be notably visible to the naked eye all the way through July, but a telescope may come in handy to get a really vicarious thrill.

So-called perihelic opposition accounts for the phenomenon; expressed in simpler terms, this is when Earth passes straight between the red planet and the sun. According to NASA, perihelic opposition is a rare event as occurs only once every 15 to 17 years, when Earth and Mars’s orbits align to bring the two planets close together, thus pleasing sky gazers with fantastic views.

https://sputniknews.com