The total lunar eclipse of 27 July 2018
What is a lunar eclipse?
A lunar eclipse is said to have occurred when the Moon passes within the Earth's shadow. This occurs when the Sun, Earth, and the Moon are aligned exactly or very closely to each other and the Earth passes in between the Sun and the moon. Therefore, a lunar eclipse can occur only on the night when there is a full moon. In a total lunar eclipse, the sunlight is completely blocked by the Earth, from reaching the moon. In the beginning, the shadow of the Earth darkens the moon slightly and then the shadow of the Earth begins to cover a part of the moon. The color of the Moon looks reddish because of the Rayleigh scattering effect and the refraction of that light by the Earth's atmosphere into its shadow. The total phase of the eclipse is called the totality.
The total lunar eclipse of July 2018
On 27 July 2018, a total lunar eclipse took place which was completely visible over Southern Asia and Central Asia, Southern Africa and Eastern Africa. The eclipse started rising over Western Africa, South America, and Europe and was seen setting over Australia and Eastern Asia.
The Moon passed through the center of the Earth's shadow for the first time since 15 June 2011. This eclipse was the longest lunar eclipse in 100 years and it lasted for one hour and forty-three minutes. The center of the lunar disk swang a tiny bit to the north of the shadow's center, so this total lunar eclipse was a few minutes less than the maximum duration possible (1 hour and 47 minutes). The moon remained in the Earth's shadow for three hours and fifty-five minutes. The shortest lunar eclipse of this century occurred on April 4, 2015, and it lasted for only four minutes and forty-eight seconds.
In 2018, this was the second total lunar eclipse after 31st January. The lunar eclipse occurred when the distance between Mars and Earth was the smallest also called perihelic opposition of Mars, a coincidence that happens only in 25,000 years.
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