The full moon on the night of July 27-28, 2018, presents the longest total lunar eclipse of the 21st century. The total eclipse called the totality spans one hour 42 minutes and 57 seconds. While this period is for the total lunar eclipse 2018, the duration of the eclipse – including the partial phases – will be over 6 hours This is in contract to the shortest total lunar eclipse which occurred on April 4, 2015.
This eclipse will happen on the same night that Earth is passing between the sun and Mars, placing Mars at opposition in our sky. In one of the sky’s wonderful coincidences. Mars is very bright and red throughout July and August, 2018. But eclipse night will be a very special night. On the same night, the sun, Earth and Mars are also aligned, bringing Mars also opposite the sun in our sky, just like the full moon. The moon in the lunar eclipse will also be passing through the middle of the Earth’s shadow, meaning it will spend the maximum time in darkness, thus contributing to the long duration of the eclipse.
This eclipse will also be a Blood Moon, a phenomenon where the moon appears red in color. India is among the best places to see the lunar eclipse 2018, along with the Middle East, southern China, and eastern Africa. For those unaware, a lunar eclipse is a phenomenon the moon passes behind the Earth and into its shadow, and sunlight is unable to reach it. As the direct sunlight is blocked, the moon goes dark and only reflects the sunlight scattered by the Earth’s atmosphere.
Summing it all up, we will have a small moon, moving more slowly than usual, passing almost straight through the middle of a larger-than-normal shadow of Earth. This will result in an inordinately long eclipse.
The next total eclipse of the moon will occur Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019.