Australia is getting a Blood Moon this weekend

Ismael LynchJul 26, 2018

A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes directly behind the earth and into its shadow.

"The Moon is not always in ideal alignment with the Sun and the Earth, so that is why we do not get a lunar eclipse every lunar cycle". The darkest part of Earth's shadow, the umbra, can be pictured as a cone extending from Earth in the opposite direction to the sun.

A rare astronomical event set to take place this week could herald the "end of days", according to some who have been following the "blood moon" phenomenon, with a number of Evangelical leaders even linking the celestial event to the USA embassy move to Jerusalem.

He pointed out that the moon's appearance greatly depended on atmospheric conditions around the Earth at the time of the eclipse.

Although the longest eclipse, Dr Sarun said the red moon will be smaller than usual because it will be at the farthest point from the Earth this year - at 406,086 kilometre from the Earth. The penumbral eclipse will begin at 11:44 pm IST followed by a partial eclipse at 11:54 pm. The partial lunar eclipse involves the southern half of the moon passing into the earth's shadow, he added. Unlike a solar eclipse, the lunar event can be viewed without wearing protective eye gear.

"The blue light as it passes through the atmosphere is scattered more strongly, so you're left with the red light skimming over the Earth when the Earth is between the moon and the sun". "However instead of turning black as you might expect, the atmosphere of the Earth bends the light of the sun onto the moon causing it to turn a deep red colour, hence this event's somewhat ominous moniker". For the Egyptians, the eclipse serves as a sow swallowing the moon for a brief time.

However the one hour 43 minute duration of the eclipse is just four minutes off the maximum possible length, according to NASA.

- Why the Moon turns red during an Eclipse? The earth blocks sunlight from reaching the moon.

Do not forget to look up in the sky later this week because a historic lunar eclipse will be visible in South Africa.

NASA said the total lunar eclipse will last almost two hours Friday night, turning the moon a reddish orange color.

If you're in eastern Africa, central Asia or the Middle East, you're in an optimal geographical position to view the Blood Moon.

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