The longest lunar eclipse of the 21st century will take place on July 27, 2018, when the shadow of Earth will completely cover the satellite for 1 hour and 43 minutes. In addition to being eclipsed, the Moon will also turn red reflecting the sun’s rays, creating a truly spectacular view, reports IFL Science.
In the last century, only four lunar eclipses lasted 100 or more minutes: one on June 15, 2011, which lasted 100 minutes; another on July 16, 2000, which lasted 107 minutes; one in July 1982, which lasted 107 minutes and another in July 1935, which lasted 101 minutes, according to Space.com. Because these events took place in the 20th century, the eclipse of July will be the longest lunar eclipse of the present century.
Unfortunately, not everyone will be able to witness the phenomenon, and those who had less luck are the residents of North and South America. The eclipse will be more visible in Africa, the Middle East, India, Australia and some areas of Europe.
A total lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes through the shadow of the Earth, known as the umbra. This happens when the Sun, the Earth and the Moon are aligned. It is like a total solar eclipse, but this time it is our planet that eclipses the Sun, and since the Earth is much bigger than the Moon, it is enveloped in its shadow.
During a total lunar eclipse, the Moon not only darkens. It actually becomes red because of the refracted sunlight on the surface of the Earth. It is similar to when dawns and red sunsets appear in our sky.
This particular lunar eclipse is especially long because the Moon will pass through the center of the umbra, which means that it will be in shadow for a longer period of time. When the Moon passes only on the side of the umbra, the eclipse is shorter.