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Blood Moon 2018: How to watch longest lunar eclipse

28 June 2018
Blood Moon 2018: How to watch longest lunar eclipse

Astronomer Bruce McClure said the eclipse will reach its peak around 9.22pm on July 27.

Those of you in the Eastern Hemisphere (Africa, Asia, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand) will have the best seats as the moon crosses Earth's shadow from west to east.

The Strawberry Moon is the seventh of 13 full moons to be present in our skies this year, and it comes just days after the United Kingdom celebrated the Summer Solstice last week, marking the start of summer and the longest day of the year. These latter events, which occur when the moon passes into Earth's shadow, are safe to view directly with the naked eye, telescopes or binoculars. The strawberry moon happens in June, when strawberries are ripe for picking.

The moon turns deep red or reddish brown during eclipses, instead of going completely dark.

Whenever there's a blood moon, various doomsday preachers jump aboard predicting the end of the world - and this years' is no exception.

Why it is called a blood moon?

The Strawberry Moon - also known as the Rose Moon or Honey Moon - was named by Algonquin tribes, who used the full moon as a signal to pick ripe strawberries and other fruit.

This will be the first blood moon since the mysterious "super blue blood moon" that appeared in the sky on January 31.

A lunar eclipse occurs when the Sun, Earth, and Moon are directly aligned, and the moon's orbit brings it directly into Earth's shadow. Think of it as a "full Saturn", in the same way the moon is full when the sun lights up the entire disc. Therefore, only red light, having the longest wavelength in the visible spectrum, travels to the Moon, and results in the Moon appearing blood red. Also at that moment, Saturn will be right next to the moon. This was visible mostly in the USA and Canada, and only involved a full moon, which was the first of 2018.

For any of these events, stargazers do not require any protection to view them.

Here's what you need to know as the full moon and Saturn get ready to put on a dazzling display this week.