Century’s Longest Lunar Eclipse, Blood Moon 2018, Today, Will Last 103 Minutes
Dear Friends & Neighbors,
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Since it will occur near apogee, this eclipse will also be the longest total lunar eclipse in the 21st century. Totality will last approximately 103 minutes. It is not possible to view this Lunar Eclipse in Orlando because the moon is below the horizon during this eclipse. The total duration of the eclipse is 6 hours, 14 minutes. The total duration of the full eclipse is 1 hour, 43 minutes (or 103 minutes). This eclipse will be the second total lunar eclipse in 2018, after the one in January. The eclipse will occur simultaneously with the perihelic opposition of Mars, a coincidence that happens once every 25,000 years. Mars will also be the closest to earth in 15 years.
A lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes within Earth’s umbra (shadow). As the eclipse begins, Earth’s shadow first darkens the Moon slightly. Then, the shadow begins to “cover” part of the Moon, turning it a dark red-brown color (typically – the color can vary based on atmospheric conditions). The Moon appears to be reddish because of Rayleigh scattering (the same effect that causes sunsets to appear reddish) and the refraction of that light by Earth’s atmosphere into its umbra.
The following simulation shows the approximate appearance of the Moon passing through Earth’s shadow. The Moon’s brightness is exaggerated within the umbral shadow. The northern portion of the Moon was closest to the center of the shadow, making it darkest, and most red in appearance.
Gathered, written, and posted by Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker
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