Nigeria with other African countries as well as Asia, Europe and Australia is set to experience the longest lunar eclipse of the 21st century. The eclipse which will occur on Friday 27th July,2018 is considered a phenomenon and once in a life time occurrence is set to happen for duration of 1hr 42mins 57secs.
Lunar eclipse is a natural occurrence in which the sun come in-between the sun and the moon thus covering it form the direct rays of the sun. While partial eclipse is a common occurrence total lunar eclipse is a rear occurrence with the last total eclipse happening in January. In this total eclipse, the sun, the earth and the moon are perfectly lined up. The most spectacular part of the total eclipse is that when the moon is fully in the earth’s shadow, it turns red. This is why this phenomenon is known as the Blood Moon.
The red colour is as a result of the fact that the sunlight is deflected through earth’s atmosphere. This process is known as refraction and it bends the red light from the sun like lens into the space behind earth on to the surface of the moon.
The precise colour of the moon depends on the atmospheric condition at the time, the clearer the atmosphere the brighter and lighter the red colour appears to be
This eclipse is going to be the longest in the 21st century as it will last a time of 1hr, 42mins and 53sec. The longest possible eclipse is 1hr 47mins.
This eclipse is set to be longest due to the fact that the moon will be passing close to the middle of the Earth’s disk. That is the longest possible path it can take through the Earth shadow. It is important to know that anytime there is an eclipse, the moon passes through the Earth’s shadow, but it doesn’t always pass through the same part of the shadow, sometimes, it passes through the top of the disk, sometimes towards the bottom of the disk.
Moreso at this period, of the Northern Hemisphere summer, the earth is closer to the sun, thus the shadow that the earth casts is larger than the average shadow it casts. Also the moon is near apogee, the most distant point in its orbit, so it is moving slower in its orbit and taking more time to move across.
Unlike in a solar eclipse where it is dangerous to look at the sun directly without special filters or protective glasses, the total lunar eclipse can be viewed with the naked eyes as the moon never gets bright enough to cause a danger to the eyes.
Report by Victor Alagogooko for IbadanCity ANNOUNCER