A total lunar eclipse or Chandra Grahan will occur on 27-28 July for a duration of 1 hour 43 minutes – the longest this century, according to the Ministry of Earth Sciences.
The timing of the Lunar Eclipse 2018
The partial eclipse of the moon will begin at 11:54 pm Indian Standard Time on 27 July. The moon will be gradually covered by the Earth’s shadow and the total eclipse will begin at 1 am on 28 July.
The eclipse will last up to 2.43 hours. Then the moon will start to gradually come out of Earth’s shadow and the partial eclipse will end at 3:49 am IST on 28 July.
The Longest Total Lunar Eclipse of 21st Century is Almost Here!
In this particular eclipse, the moon will pass through the central part of the Earth’s umbral shadow. Furthermore, the moon will be at its farthest from the Earth in its orbit, on 27 July and will be moving at a slower speed in its orbit.
This slower moving full moon will take longer and greater distance from Earth’s umbral shadow cone to travel.
Such long duration of total lunar eclipses had earlier occurred on 16 July 2000 for totality duration of 1 hour 46 minutes and another one on 15 June 2011 for a total duration of 1 hour 40 minutes.
Where in India Can I See the Lunar Eclipse?
The entire lunar eclipse will also be visible from all parts of India. The eclipse will also be visible in the region covering Australia, Asia, Russia, except the northern part of Africa, Europe, east of South America and Antarctica.
For people who fervently follow celestial events, this may be a good opportunity to watch blood moon or lunar eclipse on 27 July because the next total lunar eclipse is slated to take place only ten years later on 31 December 2028.
The Mars Opposition
On 27 July, the red planet Mars will also be at opposition, meaning that the Sun and Mars will lie opposite to each other, with the Earth in the middle.
This will result in Mars coming close to the Earth, causing it to appear brighter than normal and it will be seen from evening to dawn towards the end of July. The brighter Mars will remain very close to the eclipsed Moon in the sky on 27-28 July and can be spotted very easily with the naked eye.
However, the red planet will reach closest to the Earth on 31 July. The planet Mars comes at opposition at an average interval of 2 years and 2 months when the planet comes close to the Earth and becomes brighter.
Mars opposition that had occurred in August 2003 brought the two planets at the closest distance in approximately 60,000 years. The approach of Mars on 31 July will bring the two planets closest and the planet Mars to be seen brightest since 2003.