July's Blood Moon Will Be the Longest Lunar Eclipse in 100 Years
It will be visible from several continents on July 27 and 28, 2018.
A lunar eclipse (the phenomenon in which the earth moves between the sun and the moon, creating a shadow on the surface of the moon) is set to occur this month, on the evening of July 27 and into the morning of July 28. It is estimated to be the longest lunar eclipse in a century.
According to NASA, the total eclipse will last for approximately 1 hour and 43 minutes, which will give curious eclipse-watchers plenty of time to see it. The partial eclipse will last even longer and is predicted to occur over the span of 3 hours and 55 minutes. This is the longest predicted lunar eclipse of the 21st century.
While the geographic region of visibility is wide—according to NASA, it will be visible from locations in South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia—it will not include the United States. (We'll be on the lookout for pictures and reports after the fact, though.) The last total eclipse visible in the United States occurred on January 31, 2018. That total eclipse lasted for 1 hour and 16 minutes, while the partial eclipse lasted for 3 hours and 23 minutes.
This total lunar eclipse will also be a blood moon, a phenomenon that occurs when the eclipse casts a shadow and causes the moon to look reddish or coppery in hue. Because the moon reflects light and does not give off any light of its own, when the moon, earth, and sun align, the earth disrupts and disperses the reflection of light on the surface of the moon, causing the visible change in hue.
We're not too broken up about missing this one, though, because last year's solar eclipse had its point of greatest eclipse in none other than Hopkinsville, Kentucky. If you're in a location where you will be able to see the upcoming eclipse (i.e. South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, or Australia), turn your eyes to the skies at 7:30 p.m. GMT/UTC. You can expect the total eclipse to end at 9:13 p.m. GMT/UTC.
WATCH: Homemade Moon Pies
Will you be in a location where the lunar eclipse and blood moon are visible on July 27th and 28th? Let us know your favorite moon-watching memories from lunar eclipses past.