Secret Cape Town - Moon

Total Lunar Eclipse

Photo Caption: July 30, 2018 (9:25 am)

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Lunar Eclipse occurs only when the Sun, Earth, and the Moon are aligned. It is when the Moon passes within Earth’s umbral shadow. There is partial lunar eclipse when only a portion of the Moon enters Earth’s umbra. While total lunar eclipse happens when the entire Moon enters the planet’s umbra and the Earth completely blocks direct sunlight from reaching the Moon. This phenomenon is also called Blood Moon because of its blood-like glow. The refraction of sunlight by Earth’s atmosphere into the shadow cone causes the moon to turn into reddish brown or deep red color instead of going completely dark.

The longest lunar eclipse of the 21st century occurred on July 27, 2018, and was completely visible over Southern Africa, Eastern Africa, Central Asia and Southern Asia. It was seen rising over Western Africa, Europe, and South America, and setting over Australia and Eastern Asia.

During this eclipse, the Moon passed through the center of Earth’s umbral shadow. It was first central lunar eclipse since June 15, 2011. The Moon was also at its farthest from the Earth, called apogee, which made it very small.

The moon spent 3 hours and 55 minutes crossing the Earth’s dark umbral shadow. The duration of the total lunar eclipse is 1 hour and 43 minutes while the partial lunar eclipse before and after the total phase of the eclipse each lasted 1 hour and 6 minutes.

Coincidentally, the lunar eclipse happened on the same night that Mars was at its closest to Earth since 2003. The red planet was easy to see with naked eyes shining brightly alongside the mesmerizing blood moon. The extraordinary phenomenon was an amazing sight to see.