See the Longest Lunar Eclipse of This Century

CBS News reported this will be the longest lunar eclipse of the century, and it will be viewable from multiple continents - including most of Africa.

Unlike solar eclipses like last year's much-hyped summer spectacular, in which the moon passes between the Earth and the sun, blocking the sun from view, a lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth passes between the moon and the sun, obscuring the moon from the sun's illumination. These three factors are what have lengthened the duration of July's eclipse to 1 hour and 43 minutes, which NASA estimates will be the longest total lunar eclipse of the 21st century.

"A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes through the Earth's shadow just as a solar eclipse when part of the Earth passes through the moon's shadow".

Remember the Super Blue Moon eclipse that occurred in January this year?

It is perfectly safe to look at a lunar eclipse with just the naked eye.

This eclipse will be completely visible in Eastern Africa and Central Asia from 3:30 p.m.to 5:13 p.m. EDT, while viewers in Western Africa, Eastern Asia, South America, Europe, and Australia will catch a partial glimpse, according to Temi Adebowale at Popular Mechanics. This additionally makes it the longest time when an eclipse will be partially observable between the years 2011 and 2020.

This was the reason a totally eclipsed Moon, at times, was called as Blood Moon.

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A blood moon takes place when Earth blocks the light of the sun from the moon.

Those with the best views will be able to see the lunar eclipse at key moments - when earth's shadow begins to cover the moon, when the moon turns red, and when the shadow begins to recede, all of which will happen over a period of four hours.

On July 31st, Mars will be at only 57.6 million kilometers away from Earth, its closest point to our planet in its orbit around the Sun. Solar eclipses are unsafe to watch without certified, special glasses, but lunar eclipses don't require special head gear.

Explaining the celestial phenomenon, Duari said a lunar eclipse takes place only at full moon.

During this event, the full Moon will pass through the Earth's shadow (or umbra) lasting around 6 hours and 14 minutes from beginning to end.

The previous total lunar eclipse on January 31, lasted 1 hour and 16 minutes when the moon passed to the south of shadow's centre; and the next total lunar eclipse on January 21, 2019 will be only for 1 hour and 2 minutes because it'll pass to the north of the shadow's centre. "One does not need a telescope to watch the eclipse, though a good pair of binoculars will enhance the experience".

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