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Home / Science / The extra-long lunar eclipse of Friday can tell us about the earth: NPR

The extra-long lunar eclipse of Friday can tell us about the earth: NPR



It is expected that the moon will appear red or orange, as during the lunar eclipse in January.

Petros Giannakouris / AP


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Petros Giannakouris / AP

It is expected that the moon will appear red or orange in January, as in the lunar eclipse.

Petros Giannakouris / AP

First, let's get rid of the bad news: you will not be able to personally experience the epic lunar eclipse of this Friday if you live in North America (apart from a very small part of eastern Canada and parts of eastern Caribbean) [19659008] But here's the good news: If you're almost anywhere else you'll probably be able to see at least part of the event.

The main focus is on Eastern and Southern Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe and South Asia, based on a NASA map.

The most notable thing about this particular eclipse is its extraordinary length – in fact, NASA expects it to be the longest lunar eclipse of this century. The total lunar eclipse is expected to take an hour and 42 minutes, with the entire event lasting over 6 hours.

To find out exactly when the eclipse will hit your region, you can calculate it on Timeanddate.com.

Unlike a solar eclipse, lunar eclipse is easy and safe to enjoy with the naked eye, says Francisco Diego. an astronomer from University College London. However, he recommends using binoculars to observe all shadow and color changes during the event.

"It's pretty spectacular to see something," says Diego.

NASA has provided a map where the solar eclipse will be visible.



NASA


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NASA

During the eclipse, Earth, Sun and Moon will be in a single line with the Earth between the Sun and the Moon. That is, "the moon will come into the shadows of the earth and stop receiving the light from the sun," adds Diego.

At this time, it will look like the moon has dramatically changed its color, which is why a lunar eclipse is sometimes known as the "blood moon". It is not surprising that some ancient peoples regarded these events as frightening omens.

The solar eclipse will briefly make the moon appear in colors that range from "pale orange to deep red," as Diego explains. Because the light of the sun is filtered through the earth's atmosphere before it hits the moon. He says, "The effect is similar to a sunset."

And the shadow and intensity of that color, he says, "have very little to do with the moon, but it has to do with our own atmosphere." And our atmosphere "could be very clean or very dirty."

Events such as fires and volcanoes can alter air quality and affect atmospheric conditions, he says. "When the atmosphere is very clean, the light will be very bright and the color on the moon will be bright and orange or even yellow," he says. And if it's dirty, he says it might seem darker than usual.

"We can use the moon as a screen where the quality of the atmosphere … is projected on this screen. Depending on this, we can diagnose a little how the Earth's atmosphere feels this point, "he says.

If you're in a place where you can not see the eclipse in person, there are still ways to see it. The organization Slooh will stream live here.

The next lunar eclipse will take place on January 21, 2019. This will be the best viewing from North and South America.


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