All You Need to Know About the Lunar Eclipse of 2018

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With an upcoming total lunar eclipse on June 27, let’s take a look at some facts that make this event so special. The longest eclipse of this century will be visible in most of the world, with the exception of North America.

What is a total lunar eclipse?

Since the moon is at the point in its orbit with one of the farthest distances to Earth, it will be small enough to hide completely in our planet’s shadow, making the total lunar eclipse possible. While in the shadow of Earth, the moon will get darker, but not completely. Instead, it will turn orange-red due to the scattered light from Earth.

What makes the moon red?

An effect called Rayleigh Scattering is what causes the red-colored appearance of the moon during a total lunar eclipse. This phenomenon, which is responsible for red sunrises and sunsets, and the blue sky, is caused by the refraction of sunlight in the atmosphere. When this happens, the short wavelengths, such as blue, are scattered, while the longer ones, such as orange and red, are able to reach the Earth. This orange and red light gets refracted around the Earth and then it reaches the moon.

When can we see this event?

According to the astronomers, the lunar eclipse will be visible in most of Europe, Africa, the Middle East, central Asia, the Indian Ocean and most of Australia. When it comes to the UK, the eclipse can be observed on July 27, starting in London from 8:49 p.m., in Birmingham from 9 p.m. and in Manchester from 9.06 p.m. The length of the visible eclipse will be 3 hours 28 minutes, and the length of the total eclipse will be 1 hour 43 minutes, which makes it the longest in the 21st century.

As our second lead editor, Anna C. Mackinno provides guidance on the stories Great Lakes Ledger reporters cover. She has been instrumental in making sure the content on the site is clear and accurate for our readers. If you see a particularly clever title, you can likely thank Anna. Anna received a BA and and MA from Fordham University.