Blood moon rises but clouds spoil party for many

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In a rare celestial display, a red moon will rise above the horizon tomorrow, July 27, in the longest total lunar eclipse seen this century. Friday's eclipse will offer sky-watchers more time than usual to look. 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. Mars shone bright all night as it was at its closest point to Earth since 2003 - visible as a "bright red star" when the skies were clear.

The brighter Mars will remain very close to the eclipsed Moon in the sky on July 27-28 and can be spotted very easily with the naked eye, the statement said.

Unlike a solar eclipse, which can be viewed only from a certain relatively small area of the world, a lunar eclipse may be viewed from anywhere on the night side of Earth.

The next total lunar eclipse visible from start to finish from anywhere in Africa will be in 2025.

Dr Gregory Brown, of the Royal Observatory Greenwich explains the phenomena: "At this time, the moon passes into the shadow of the Earth, blocking the light from the sun". "Bloody" referred to the moon during the Eclipse.

Blood Moon Live video below – streaming from cameras around the Earth
Blood Moon Live video below – streaming from cameras around the Earth

Rio de Janeiro's spectators cheered when the blood moon emerged from the fog.

Alexander tweeted: "A partially eclipsed Moon, with our neighbouring planet in the background, just before diving into Earth's atmosphere". First, there will be a total lunar eclipse and although uncommon, this one is special because it's going to last a lot longer than usual - in fact the longest this century.

The Weather Channel will be live streaming the lunar eclipse on its smartphone app beginning at 4 p.m. Some light, though, still reaches it because it is bent by the earth's atmosphere. It wasn't visible in the US, but it could be seen from places like South America, Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia.

This gives the moon a odd red glow as it disappears into the Earth's shadow.

In a total lunar eclipse, the Moon passes through the core of Earth's shadow, often turning red-orange due to the bending of sunlight through Earth's atmosphere. This is the longest because for the last four billion years the moon has been moving away from the Earth and has now reached the flawless spot for the lunar alignment.

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