A total lunar eclipse that is predicted to last one hour and 43 minutes will occur on Saturday July 28 at 3:15am, and stargazers in Western Australia will be able to watch the entire event from start to finish. While lunar eclipses are generally a slow event, this one takes the cake by being the longest eclipse of the 21st century. According to NASA, the duration is just four minutes off its maximum possible length.
A total lunar eclipse only happens when the earth moves between the sun and the moon and completely blocks direct sunlight from reaching the moon. This eclipse will be the last one we see in Australia until May 2021, so astronomy enthusiasts should set their alarms for the early morning wake-up.
For people on Australia's east coast, the lunar eclipse will begin at about 3.15am. Everyone on the night side of Earth will see the eclipse together from 4.24am (AEST) with the total eclipse starting at 5.30am (AEST).
2018 has been a good year for notable celestial events, and the lunar eclipse arrives just over six months after another rare space event that was visible on January 31, when a super moon, a blood moon and a full lunar eclipse converged to create a super blue blood moon for the first time in Australia since 1982 (pictured in Jerusalem, above).
While you’re up in during the early hours of July 28, red Mars will be sitting just above and to the left of the eclipsed Moon, and on July 31 it will be the closest to earth it’s ever travelled.
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