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The moon is set to turn red on Friday in the longest total lunar eclipse of the 21st century, visible across Europe. Just before the lunar eclipse event, the moon reached its apogee, its farthest point from Earth.

Stargazers were also keen to see Mars, which appeared bigger and brighter than at any time during the past decade and a half.

The next total lunar eclipse will occur on January 19 2019.

"It is a very unusual coincidence to have a total lunar eclipse and Mars at opposition on the same night", said Robert Massey, deputy executive director of the Royal Astronomical Society, who watched the eclipse from the Mediterranean Sea. The Moon will be gradually covered by the Earth's shadow and the totality phase will begin at 1 a.m. IST on July 28 and the total eclipse will last upto 2.43 a.m. Unfortunately for anyone in the USA, the eclipse will not be visible.

Dr Jacob said: "Anyone on that night-side of the Earth would be able to see the moon go into the eclipse".

During the eclipse, the moon will look red, which is also referred to as a "blood moon".

A blood moon rises over Tel Aviv, Israel, Friday, July 27, 2018.

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What is a lunar eclipse?

Astronomy enthusiasts in Bern might have seen this view over the Church of the Holy Spirit as the sun, Earth and moon aligned with each other.

The blood moon is caused by the moon being fully engulfed in Earth's shadow, and today's lunar eclipse will be this century's longest at 103 minutes.

The longest lunar eclipse of the century is set to dazzle stargazers this evening - but people in the United Kingdom could miss out on seeing the rare celestial event, with rain clouds and thunderstorms set to dominate the skies. Although the lunar eclipse will be visible in all major land areas except North and Central America, the totality will be visible in India, the Middle East, parts of central Asia and eastern and southern Africa.

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

The next eclipse to last that long will occur on June 9, 2123, but it will not be visible from Australia.

The red sheen that the moon will take on is entirely dependent on how much dust is in the Earth's atmosphere.


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