World will witness the longest total lunar eclipse of the 21st century, in combination with Mars Opposition later this month
Dubai: The last weekend of this month is all set to witness a special astronomical spectacle, with century’s longest lunar eclipse coinciding with Mars Opposition.
According to experts, the world will witness a total lunar eclipse on July 27, with the moon entering the shadow of the earth for about four hours, and the event will be seen clearly across three continents at least.
The Dubai Astronomy Group has called on the people to enjoy this amazing celestial event, as the moon is set to change colour from white to dark red.
The group has also called on people to ignore misconceptions, unscientific theories and illogical facts about this once in a century event.
During this event, the full moon will pass through the Earth’s shadow (or umbra) lasting around six hours and 14 minutes from beginning to end.
“This is a very deep eclipse that lasts longer than the previous one earlier in the year. The moon will appear darker during totality, however there are more factors at play here. The moon will slowly turn from its familiar pearly white colour to a reddish colour then back to its original colour all over a period of around five hours,” said a DAG official.
He added that the shade of red can vary from eclipse to eclipse depending on a few factors including conditions in the Earth’s upper atmosphere and the position of the Moon along its orbit.
During the eclipse, when the moon passes through the shadow cast by Earth, the moon will take on a deep red to orange colour rather than completely disappearing from sight.
The total lunar eclipse will be completely visible over Eastern Africa, and Central Asia, seen rising over South America, Western Africa, and Europe, and setting over Eastern Asia, and Australia.
In Dubai, with the moon being above the horizon during this eclipse and with expected good weather conditions, the entire eclipse is likely to be visible.
Where to observe: The Dubai Astronomy Group will set up an integrated programme for lunar eclipse event. The group will also provide a detailed explanation of the event and the opportunity to monitor the telescopes with educational programmes.
July 27 will also see Mars Opposition, where people will see a special approach to the Red Planet — Mars — which will be the climax of its approach on the same day eclipse, this approach is similar to the approach of 2003.
Mars dazzles in its opposition window, rivalling Venus and brighter than Jupiter. And it will be ridiculously close to Earth in 2018, around 35 million miles away.
From Dubai, Mars closeness will be visible between 8pm and 5am.
Event time and visibility of Lunar Eclipse in Dubai:
Penumbral eclipse begins
Partial eclipse begins
Full eclipse begins
Full eclipse ends
Partial eclipse ends
Penumbral eclipse ends