Apart from Doomsday preachers that still warn us that apocalypse is coming, tonight will surely be memorable because you will see the longest lunar eclipse of the century. And to complete the rarity of the event, next to the blood moon will be Mars shining brighter than ever, as it is the closest it has been in the last 15 years.
How to Watch the Events
The best regions to view this event is in the Middle East, eastern Africa, southern Asia and India. Parts of Europe, Australia, South America and most of eastern Asia will also get a little peek of the long eclipse. If you happen to be one of the lucky people living in one of the regions, you just have to go outside and look up into the sky!
Unfortunately, Canada, the U.S. and Greenland won’t see it, but the good news is that the event will be streamed on many news outlets, starting with 3 p.m. ET, including footage from London, Rome, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Delhi, Seoul and Rio de Janeiro.
The eclipse will last for almost an hour and 43 minutes, and the whole event will last almost four hours from the beginning to the end.
Doomsayers and the Blood Moon
Why does the Moon turns red, you might ask yourself. Certainly not because the apocalypse is near! Doomsayers believe that, according to passages from the Bible, we shouldn’t be too happy about this weekend:
“The sun will turn into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes.” (Book of Joel)
“And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood.” (Book of Revelations)
But Andrew Fabian, an astronomy professor at the University of Cambridge has a reasonable and scientific explanation:
“The light from the sun goes through the Earth’s atmosphere on its way to the moon, and the Earth’s atmosphere turns it red in the same way that when the sun goes down, it goes red. If you were standing on the moon in this eclipse, you would see the sun and then the earth would come in the way and blot out the sun.”
The next long lunar eclipse will happen in 2123.
Mars Shining Brighter Than Ever
As for Mars, it will be easy to spot: it will shine bright like a star – but it will have a coppery red tint because you know… it’s the Red Planet after all. You’ll see Mars near the Moon. What’s so special about Mars’ position is that tonight it will be at it’s closest to our Earth and to the Sun, allowing it to look brighter on the sky.
Let’s hope for those who can see the events that the weather will allow them to watch the Blood Moon and the Red Planet.
Rex Austinwas born and raised in Thunder Bay Ontario on the shores of Lake Superior. Apart from running his own podcast (Ice Fishing And Other “Cool” Things), he spends his time canoeing and backpacking in Northern Ontario.. As a journalist Rex has published stories for Global News (Thunder Bay) we well as Buzz Feed and Joystiq. As a contributor to Great Lakes Ledger, Rex most covers science and health stories. Contact Rexhere