I am a big fan of the moon. Especially full moons that light up the night. When I had first seen a notification saying that this Friday (27 July 2018) there would be a lunar eclipse it piqued my interest but I was only mildly interested. Usually these are for other countries and I myself would be unable to see it. However, this time around I would be able to see the lunar eclipse for myself. What made it all the more enticing, is that it would also be doubling as a blood moon! Excitement levels were high.
The lunar eclipse
This was said to be the longest lunar eclipse of the 21st Century which in itself is pretty amazing. The eclipse started at around 8:24pm and lasted until around 12am. This gave us a good couple hours to enjoy the eclipse. The moon was entirely eclipsed by 9:30 and this lasted until 11:20pm. The eclipse was over by midnight.
The Blood Moon
From 9:30 pm until 11:20 pm the moon had a reddish colour. It started off with a dusty brown and as time went on it darkened into a deep blood red and then faded out to a light reddish brown.
The blood moon blood moon is a result of the light from the sun going through the earth’s atmosphere on its way to the moon. The earth’s atmosphere turns the light red in the same way that when the sun goes down the sky becomes red. It is a phenomenon that can only happen during a lunar eclipse.
The Red Planet
As an added bonus and incentive, Mars was at its brightest and the closest it has been to our planet in 15 years. This made it easily visible to the naked eye and we could see it as a red star.
😍I am falling in love with astronomy ey pic.twitter.com/gN1jwvQ6PF
— Dave Beloved David (@yahBoiDavey) July 27, 2018
If only our phone cameras could take decent and highly detailed pictures of the moon. Thankfully ‘Dave Beloved David’ managed to take a pic which captured some of the eclipse, Mars and the colouring as well. His picture came out a lot better than mine had.
Weird but fun fact, the word lunatic comes from the word luna because it was believed that changes of the moon caused intermittent insanity. To fully enjoy this fact and the myths and superstitions around the blood moon my mom decided and I backed the decision that the family was to wear onesies as we watched the eclipse. So we borrowed a onesie to le boyfriend and the rest of us wore ours as we stood outside and watched the moon slowly be engulfed.
The next lunar eclipse of such a length is only due in 2123! That is a waiting period of over 100 years! A red moon and a red planet on the same night made for a really great experience. I just wish the moon was slightly closer to the earth so that it would have been bigger and clearer in the sky. This eclipse went on for close to four hours making it a truly historical eclipse and I am really proud that I had been able to observe and experience it.
Were you able to experience this lunar eclipse and blood moon? Did you see Mars? (^w^)