Come Friday night, and you will witness a yet another rare celestial phenomenon - century's longest total lunar eclipse. The moon will appear deep red in colour, also called the blood moon. For curious sky gazers, another rare astronomical spectacle awaits as planet Mars will be very close to the moon on the same night. Astronomers say, Mars will be visible with the naked eye. Total Lunar Eclipse, also called Chandra Grahan, happens when Earth takes position in a straight line between the moon and sun. The eclipse is a phenomenon that occurs when the Earth, moon and sun are in perfect alignment, blanketing the moon in the Earth's shadow, says NASA. In total lunar eclipse the direct sunlight is completely blocked by the earth's shadow. The total phase of this lunar eclipse, also known as a 'Blood Moon'. At least two lunar eclipses happen every year. Lunar eclipses are safe to view without any eye protection or special precautions, as they are dimmer than the full Moon.
All FAQs about Total Lunar Eclipse or Chandra Grahan When World Will See Blood Moon:
Date and Time of Total Lunar Eclipse or Chandra Grahan
The longest total lunar eclipse in the century will be seen on July 27 night to early hours of July 28. The duration of the total lunar eclipse would be 103 minutes or 1 hour 43 minutes. Such long duration lunar eclipse will not be visible until 2123.
Timings of total Lunar Eclipse 2018: The period of complete eclipse -- known as "totality", is the time when the moon appears darkest. In India, the moon will appear reddish to deep red during 1 am to 2:43 am during the period of "totality" that begins on 28 July. (July 27 late night)
Total Lunar Eclipse around the world
According to timeanddate.com, much of Europe, much of Asia, Australia, Africa, South in North America, South America, Pacific, Atlantic, Indian Ocean and Antarctica would witness the total lunar eclipse.
Total Lunar Eclipse timings in India
India will see total lunar eclipse that would begin on 10:44 pm on July 27 and will end on 4:58 am on July 28.
During 1 am to 2:43 am, the eclipse would be maximum and would appear red in colour.
Where can you see the Total Lunar Eclipse in India
Total Lunar Eclipse will be seen in cities including Delhi, Pune, Bengaluru and Mumbai among others.
Understanding Blood Moon
A blood moon is the term for a total lunar eclipse due to the reddish colour of the moon. A total lunar eclipse occurs when the moon sits directly behind the Earth, within the Earth's shadow.
Popular Myths About Lunar Eclipse:
Here are some of the popular superstitions around the world related to lunar eclipse:
1. A popular superstition in India is to avoid eating during Lunar Eclipse or Chandra Grahan. Cooking, eating and drinking are avoided during lunar eclipses in India as people are superstitious about food "going bad" during eclipses.
2. In the United States, a superstition that existed since long was that an eclipse is a "sign of an apocalypse". Some scholars say that it stems from the Bible. According to Joel 2:31: "The Sun will turn to darkness, and the Moon to blood before the great and dreadful day of the Lord comes."
3. In Tibet, people believe that good and bad deeds are multiplied ten-fold during a lunar eclipse.
4. A popular South African myth is that Sun and Moon fight during a lunar eclipse. People must pray so that these celestial bodies resolve their conflict.
5. In many parts of the world, pregnant women are advised to stay indoors. People believe that the "dark moon" will "curse" the unborn child. Women are also advised not to use knives and sharp objects during an eclipse as it may lead to birthmarks.
Any precautions while watching Total Lunar Eclipse
Doctors have said it's safe to watch total lunar eclipse with naked eye. No external objects or instruments are required to do so and it's a safe process to look at the moon.
Previous long duration Total Lunar Eclipses
Long duration of total lunar eclipses had earlier occurred on July 16, 2000 for totality duration of 1 hour 46 minutes and another one on June 15, 2011 for totality duration of 1 hour 40 minutes.
Next Total Lunar Eclipse 2018
You can witness the next total lunar eclipse on December 31, 2028.