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Longest lunar eclipse of the century to happen Friday

Longest lunar eclipse of the century to happen Friday

This Blood Moon eclipse can only occur during a full moon and takes place when the moon is perfectly aligned with the Earth and sun.

During totality, which begins at around 3:30 p.m. EDT (19:30 UTC), the moon will be immersed in Earth's shadow and will be "illuminated by red light filtered by the [Earth's] atmosphere", Diego said. Check out the live stream of the blood red moon here!

What is a lunar eclipse?

In a statement by the agency's head of media and corporate communications, Dr. Felix Ale, the eclipse was expected to reach its peak around 9:21pm and wane from then until it ended around 12:30am of Saturday (today). Totality will last for 103 minutes, making it the longest eclipse of the 21st century.

The Moon gradually returns to its normal color and brightens as it emerges from Earth's shadow.

Such long duration of total lunar eclipses had earlier occurred on July 16, 2000 for totality duration of 1 hour 46 minutes and another one on June 15, 2011 for totality duration of 1 hour 40 minutes, the statement said.

The so-called "blood moon", when it turns a deep red, will be visible at different times in Australia, Africa, Asia, Europe and South America.

The Virtual Telescope Project is hosting the alluringly named "Night of the Red Moon and the Red Planet" and will have its cameras trained on the moon during the eclipse.

Mars was also at its closest point to Earth since 2003 last night and will be over the next few days.

Alexander tweeted: "A partially eclipsed Moon, with our neighbouring planet in the background, just before diving into Earth's atmosphere". The best visibility will be in Africa and Asia.

Also, those in the United Kingdom will miss a section of the eclipse due to the moon being below our horizon when it starts, which gives south-eastern observers a slightly better advantage than the north-western ones.

But don't worry, even if you don't manage to find the flawless spot to see the red moon coming over the horizon, you'll still be able to get a good view once it rises in the sky.