Blood Moon: 21st Century’s longest lunar eclipse — in pictures

This combo picture shows the transitions of full moon during a “blood moon” eclipse as seen from Jakarta on July 27, 2018.

This combo picture shows the transitions of full moon during a “blood moon” eclipse as seen from Jakarta on July 27, 2018.   | Photo Credit: AFP

At the same time, Mars will hover near the moon in the night sky, easily visible with the naked eye.

A blood-red moon dazzled star gazers across much of the world on July 27-28 when it moved into Earth's shadow for the longest lunar eclipse of the 21st Century.

From the Cape of Good Hope to the Middle East, and from the Kremlin to Sydney Harbour, thousands of people turned their eyes to the stars to watch the moon, which turned dark before shining orange, brown and crimson in the shadow.

The total eclipse lasted 1 hour, 42 minutes and 57 seconds, though a partial eclipse preceded and follows, meaning the moon will spend a total of nearly 4 hours in the Earth's umbral shadow, according to NASA.

The fullest eclipse was visible from Europe, Russia, Africa, the Middle East, and much of Asia and Australia though clouds blocked out the moon in some places.

North America missed out on this lunar eclipse but can look forward to the next one on January 21, 2019, according to NASA.

The next lunar eclipse of such a length is due in 2123.

4.30 a.m. IST

 

A blood moon is seen with Mars on the bottom right (white dot), in Nairobi on July 27, 2018.

A blood moon is seen with Mars on the bottom right (white dot), in Nairobi on July 27, 2018.   | Photo Credit: Reuters

 

Mars is traveling closer to earth than it has done since 2003, so some observers may see what looks like an orange-red star — and is in fact the red planet.

“It is a very unusual coincidence to have a total lunar eclipse and Mars at opposition on the same night,” said Robert Massey, deputy executive director of the Royal Astronomical Society, who watched the eclipse from the Mediterranean Sea.

Across Africa people turned to the sky, watching the reddish shadow slide up the moon’s surface. In Somalia, some hurried to mosques for special prayers. In South Sudan, some dared to take photos in a war-torn country where using a camera in public is discouraged.

In Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, people at an open-air restaurant admired a rare clear view during the rainy season, comparing a live NASA webcast to what they saw above. Then clouds rolled in.

“Dem yelebesech chereka,” some murmured Amharic for “blood moon.”

In Nairobi, Kenyans watched as the moon darkened.

“This is what life is all about: Magical moments like this,” said Teddy Muthusi as he watched from Uhuru Park in Nairobi. ”It's just beautiful. It's well worth it.”

 

3.30 a.m. IST

 

This combo picture shows the transitions of full moon during a “blood moon” eclipse as seen from Jakarta on July 27, 2018.

This combo picture shows the transitions of full moon during a “blood moon” eclipse as seen from Jakarta on July 27, 2018.   | Photo Credit: AFP

From the Cape of Good Hope to the Middle East, and from the Kremlin to Sydney Harbour, thousands of people turned their eyes to the stars to watch the moon, which turned dark before shining orange, brown and crimson in the shadow.

 

 

2 a.m. IST

 

The blood moon during eclipse above Bhubaneswar on July 28, 2018.

The blood moon during eclipse above Bhubaneswar on July 28, 2018.   | Photo Credit: Biswaranjan Rout

 

A total lunar eclipse happens when Earth takes position in a straight line between the moon and sun, blotting out the direct sunlight that normally makes our satellite glow whitish-yellow.

The moon travels to a similar position every month, but the tilt of its orbit means it normally passes above or below the Earth’s shadow - so most months we have a full moon without an eclipse.

When the three celestial bodies are perfectly lined up, however, the Earth’s atmosphere scatters blue light from the sun while refracting or bending red light onto the moon, usually giving it a rosy blush.

This is what gives the phenomenon the name “blood moon”, though Mark Bailey of the Armagh Observatory in Northern Ireland said the colour can vary greatly.

It depends partly on “how cloudy or transparent those parts of the Earth’s atmosphere are which enable sunlight to reach the moon”, he told AFP.

“During a very dark eclipse the moon may be almost invisible.

“Less dark eclipses may show the moon as dark grey or brown... as rust-coloured, brick-red, or, if very bright, copper-red or orange.” The long duration of this eclipse is partly due to the fact that the moon will make a near-central passage through Earth’s umbra -- the darkest, most central part of the shadow.

 

1:40 a.m. IST

Blood Moon dazzles star gazers

A blood-red moon dazzled star gazers across much of the world on Friday when the earth's natural satellite moved into the shadow of our planet for the longest lunar eclipse of the 21st Century.

A "blood moon" is seen during a full lunar eclipse at Jetpur, Gujarat on July 28, 2018.

A "blood moon" is seen during a full lunar eclipse at Jetpur, Gujarat on July 28, 2018.  

 

From the Cape of Good Hope to the Middle East, and from the Kremlin to Sydney Harbour, thousands of people turned their eyes to the stars to watch the moon which turned dark before shining orange, brown and crimson as it moved into the earth's shadow.

The total eclipse will last 1 hour, 42 minutes and 57 seconds, though a partial eclipse preceded and follows, meaning the moon will spend a total of 3 hours and 54 minutes in the earth's umbral shadow, according to NASA.

The fullest eclipse, at 2022 GMT, was visible from Europe, Russia, Africa, the Middle East, much of Asia and Australia though clouds blocked out the moon in some places.

1:15 am IST

World looks to the skies

Across Africa, people turned to the sky. In Johannesburg, residents took advantage of the clear winter night and watched the reddish shadow slide up the moon’s surface. In Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, people at an open-air restaurant admired a rare clear view during the rainy season, comparing a live NASA webcast to what they saw above. Then clouds rolled in.

“Dem yelebesech chereka,” some murmured Amharic for “blood moon.”

“The reason that the moon turns red is because atmospheric scattering causes red light to pass through the atmosphere and the composition of the atmosphere can change if volcanic eruptions or forest fires occur,” said Tom Kerss, an astronomer with the Royal Observatory Greenwich.

“And the density of dust increasing in the atmosphere can cause the moon to appear a particularly deep red, and indeed it has the same effect on our sunsets and sunrises.”

Guwahati, 12.40 am IST

 

The partially-eclipsed blood moon over Guwahati early on July 28, 2018.

The partially-eclipsed blood moon over Guwahati early on July 28, 2018.   | Photo Credit: Ritu Raj Konwar

 

The period of complete eclipse will last 1 hour, 42 minutes and 57 seconds, though a partial eclipse precedes and follows, meaning the moon will spend a total of 3 hours and 54 minutes in the earth's umbral shadow, according to NASA.

Hyderabad, 12.30 am IST

 

The partial phase of the lunar eclipse that began at 11.54 p.m is seen from Hyderabad on July 27, 2018. The celestial spectacle became visible thanks to a break in the cloudy sky.

The partial phase of the lunar eclipse that began at 11.54 p.m is seen from Hyderabad on July 27, 2018. The celestial spectacle became visible thanks to a break in the cloudy sky.   | Photo Credit: K.V.S. Giri

 

Astronomers have appealed to Indians to upload selfies with the hashtag #EclipseEating while enjoying food during the eclipse, in a bid to dispel the myths and superstitions surrounding the celestial event.

Existing superstitions and myths among the people in India keeps them from witnessing one of the most beautiful phenomenon of universe.

“Unfortunately among people there are lot of false beliefs or superstitions about eclipses. There are beliefs that we should not go out and see them, we should not eat during eclipse etc,” said Niruj Mohan Ramanujam from National Centre for Radio Astrophysics, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) in Pune.

“Eclipse is the time when we realise that the universe is extremely grand where things move constantly. To miss such an event would be a pity,” Mr. Ramanujam, who is also a member of the Public Outreach and Education Committee at Astronomical Society of India, told PTI.

“We are encouraging people to start the campaign, to take a pictures of them with their friends and family of eating and drinking and post it on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with #EclipseEating,” Mr. Ramanujam said.

“You are not scared if the mountain hides the Sun from you, so why should you be scared if Moon hides the Sun from you?” he said.

 

Jetpur, Gujarat, 12.00 am IST, July 28, 2018

 

Earth has started casting its shadow on the moon, as the hours-long lunar eclipse begins late on July 27, 2018, at Jetpur in Gujarat.

Earth has started casting its shadow on the moon, as the hours-long lunar eclipse begins late on July 27, 2018, at Jetpur in Gujarat.   | Photo Credit: Vijay Soneji

A lunar eclipse occurs when Earth comes in between the Sun and moon, with the three celestial bodies falling in a line and Earth’s shadow covering moon.

As the moon enters the Earth’s darker shadow — umbra — it will bear a reddish appearance and is known commonly as a blood moon, with the lunar eclipse also being called the ‘longest blood moon’.

Jetpur, Gujarat, 11.45 pm IST 

 

Moon plays hide and seek behind the clouds just before the start of the century’s longest total lunar eclipse, at Jetpur, Gujarat on July 27, 2018.

Moon plays hide and seek behind the clouds just before the start of the century’s longest total lunar eclipse, at Jetpur, Gujarat on July 27, 2018.   | Photo Credit: Vijay Soneji

 

Such long total lunar eclipses had earlier occurred on July 16, 2000 for totality duration of 1 hour 46 minutes and another one on June 15, 2011 for totality duration of 1 hour 40 minutes.

Abu Dhabi, 11.30 pm IST

 

A full “blood moon” rises behind the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi on July 27, 2018.

A full “blood moon” rises behind the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi on July 27, 2018.   | Photo Credit: Reuters

 

For thousands of years, man has looked to the heavens for omens of doom, victory and joy.

Astronomers, though, said there was no cause for worry.

“There is no reason to believe that blood moons foretell doom,” said Massey. “This does not herald the apocalypse: seeing a lunar eclipse and Mars in the sky is something people should enjoy rather than worry about medieval superstitions.”

 

Tel Aviv, 11.15 pm IST

 

A blood moon rises over Tel Aviv, Israel, Friday, July 27, 2018.

A blood moon rises over Tel Aviv, Israel, Friday, July 27, 2018.   | Photo Credit: AP

 

When the moon moves into the conical shadow of the earth, it goes from being illuminated by the sun to being dark. Some light, though, will still reach it because it is bent by the earth's atmosphere.

“It's called a blood moon because the light from the sun goes through the earth's atmosphere on its way to the moon, and the earth's atmosphere turns it red in the same way that when the sun goes down it goes red,” Andrew Fabian, professor of astronomy at the University of Cambridge, told Reuters.

Guwahati, 10.15 pm IST

 

Dark clouds cover the Moon just before the start of the century’s longest total lunar eclipse in Guwahati on July 27, 2018.

Dark clouds cover the Moon just before the start of the century’s longest total lunar eclipse in Guwahati on July 27, 2018.   | Photo Credit: Ritu Raj Konwar

 

According to the India Meteorological Department the lunar eclipse may not be visible in the Northeast because of cloudy weather. During this rare phenomena, the Moon will turn bright red and it will be visible in India as well.

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Printable version | May 29, 2020 2:47:17 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/blood-moon-21st-centurys-longest-lunar-eclipse-in-pictures/article24534892.ece

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