Countdown begins for the longest lunar eclipse of the century

2010 lunar eclipse in Alaska

2010 lunar eclipse in Alaska

The celestial show was the result of the Sun, Earth, and Moon lining up perfectly for a lunar eclipse just as the Moon is near its closest orbit point to Earth, making it appear "super" large. In fact, it won't be visible anywhere in North America.

People in Africa and Asia will get the best views of the eclipse, and those in Europe, South America and Australia will see partial views, according to USA Today.

And if that is not enough excitement, Earth will also be passing between the Sun and Mars on July 27, putting the Red Planet at opposition in our sky, right next to the full moon.

A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon, earth and sun align, with the moon behind the earth, in its shadow.

According to The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) the Moon will pass through the Earth's shadow and colour the moon red for more than one hour and forty minutes.

Countdown begins for the longest lunar eclipse of the century

So, drumroll please: Coming up on Friday, July 27, 2018, the longest total lunar eclipse of the 21st century! The sun, Earth and moon will line up and our planet will cast a reddish shadow onto our lunar buddy. Instead of light hitting the moon's surface, Earth's shadow falls on it.

The cloudy monsoon skies could play spoilsport but since this eclipse is longer than most, there is a good chance of catching a glimpse. But the night-time transformation of the moon into a bloody-red orb can be seen by anyone on the Earth below while it is night. Residents in most of the world will be able to see at least a partial eclipse. Another total lunar eclipse is set for January 21, 2019.

A total eclipse will start at 1:00 am (July 28). However, they shouldn't sweat it because their robotic spacecraft, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, will experience it first-hand.

But Friday's lunar eclipse has reignited Evangelical interest in a possible link between the event, the Jewish state, and the apocalypse. "A Blue Moon is the second full moon during a calendar month", said Duari, who also termed the year 2018 as "a year of lunar eclipses".

Dr Gregory Brown, of the Royal Observatory Greenwich, said: "We miss a section of the eclipse due to the moon being below our horizon when it starts".

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