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Egypt to witness longest eclipse of the 21st century on Friday

Ahram Online, Wednesday 25 Jul 2018
Views: 6840
Views: 6840

The longest lunar eclipse to occur so far in the 21st century will take place on Friday and will last for more than six hours, and Cairo will be one of the prime locations to clearly see this rare "blood moon" phenomenon.

The event will also be clearly visible from most of eastern Africa, the Middle East, central Asia, Australia, India and Madagascar. It will be partially visible in southern America and Europe.

The head of the Astronomy Department at the National Institute for Astronomical and Geophysics Research Ashraf Tadros told Ahram-Online that the phenomenon will start at about 6pm, and totality will take place at about 9pm and will last for about 1 hour and 47 minutes.

Totality is when the moon is fully under Earth's shadow. 

A total lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth's position is between the moon and the sun in a straight line. The Earth's atmosphere refracts light from the sun onto the moon's surface, resulting in the orange-red colour and creating the so-called "blood moon."

Lunar eclipse
where you can see the lunar eclipse

Tadros added that the entire six-hour phenomenon will be visible by the naked eye. 

The sea tide will also reach its peak during the eclipse.

Another phenomenon on this night will be that Mars will be in opposition to the sun and will therefore shine brighter than usual. This phenomenon will last for several days and can also be seen with the naked eye.

According to NASA, Mars will be closer to the earth than usual, creating as an exceptional view that takes place every 15 – 17 years, making the planet brighter than it has been since 2003. 

Tadros recommended watching the event in rural areas away from the city lights, suggesting places like Wadi El-Hitan or the Environmental Conservation Organisation.

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