After the partial solar eclipse on July 12, the century’s longest lunar eclipse is knocking on the door which will be witnessed on July 27. On the night the eclipse, Mars will be at opposition i.e. Sun, Earth and Mars will be in the same line. The Red Planet will, however, make its closest approach to Earth not on the day of opposition but on July 31.
The Eclipse of July 27 will be the longest eclipse of the century (2000-2100) that will last for 1 hour and 43 minutes. The Super Blue Blood Moon of January this year lasted for 1 hour 16 minutes. That’s the duration of full lunar eclipse, when Earth will completely block out the sunlight falling on the lunar surface. From start to finish, the Moon will take about 4 hours to leave Earth’s dark umbral shadow.
For an especially long-lasting total lunar eclipse of 1 hour and 43 minutes to occur, the moon has to pass through the central part of the Earth’s shadow. The previous total lunar eclipse on January 31, 2018, didn’t last as long (1 hour and 16 minutes) because the moon passed to the south of shadow’s center; and the next total lunar eclipse on January 21, 2019, won’t be as long either (1 hour and 2 minutes) because it’ll pass to the north of the shadow’s center.
The eclipse will be visible from the Earth’s eastern hemisphere (Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand). North America won’t see any eclipse as the moon will be below the horizon during the time of eclipse. The timings of the eclipse are as follows:
Partial eclipse begins: 18:24 ( 6:24 p.m.) UTC
Total eclipse begins: 19:30 (7:30 p.m.) UTC
Greatest eclipse: 20:22 (8:22 p.m.) UTC
Total eclipse ends: 21:13 (9:13 p.m.) UTC
Partial eclipse ends: 22:19 (10:19 p.m.) UTC
(UTC is the Coordinated Universal Time, same as GMT, Greenwich Mean Time)
The July full moon is known as the Thunder Moon, when the moon is in or near the stars of Sagittarius and Capricornus. These names of full moon gained popularity in native America and American folklore. This full Moon is called the thunder Moon because of the frequency of thunderstorms during this hot, dry month. In India, this day is celebrated as the ‘Guru Purnima’ (Purnima is a Sanskrit word meaning Full Moon).