Longest eclipse of the century this weekend

Jessica CuthbertAlbany Advertiser
The blood moon will be the longest of the century
Camera IconThe blood moon will be the longest of the century Credit: Andrew Lockwood

Skygazers will be treated to the longest total lunar eclipse this Saturday.

Just before the crack of dawn, a blood moon will light up the sky and will be the longest lunar eclipse of the 21st century, lasting for 1 hour and 43 minutes.

A total lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes through the Earth’s innermost shadow.

When this happens, the moon turns rusty orange or deep red in colour, earning the nickname of a blood moon eclipse.

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The phenomenon will be the second for the year, but the one hour, 43-minute-long spectacle will be the longest this century.

The blood moon will be visible in the early hours of Saturday morning
Camera IconThe blood moon will be visible in the early hours of Saturday morning Credit: BOM

You’ll have to set your alarms for this beauty, as the total eclipse begins at 3.30am, with the maximum peak and strongest colour shown at 4.21am.

The eclipse will be visible in large parts of Australia, Asia, Africa, Europe, and South America and Perth will have a front row seat to the event.

Perth Observatory’s Matt Woods said to add to this special event, the eclipse will occur on the same night that Earth passes between the Sun and Mars, placing Mars at opposition in our sky right next to the Moon.

“The placement of the eclipse is the closest since 2003 and there won’t be another close opposition this close until 2035,” he said.

“This is why Mars currently looks so bright at the moment and will continue to do so through August.” .

Mr Woods said the phenomenon was not one to be missed.

“This will be a spectacular sight to see as not only will this be the longest total lunar eclipse of this century with totality taking an hour and 43 minutes, but we also have Mars right next to the Moon at the closest opposition to Earth since 2003. It’ll be a spectacular site and opportunity not to be missed.”

Perth Observatory will be live streaming the total lunar eclipse for timeanddate.com so the entire world can see this eclipse.

To watch the live stream, you can click on the following link: https://www.timeanddate.com/live

Send us your photos! jessica.cuthbert@albanyadvertiser.com

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