Bahrain witness to longest 'blood moon' eclipse

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The fullest eclipse, at 2022 GMT, will be visible from Europe, Russia, Africa, the Middle East, much of Asia and Australia.

There are about four lunar eclipses each year.

NASA said the reason the eclipse lasted more than one hour and 40 minutes was because the moon went "directly through the center of the Earth's shadow".

In a special treat, Mars is in opposition on Friday - meaning the planet and the sun will be on exact opposite sides of the Earth and will shine its best.

The thrilling spectacle coincided with Mars' closest approach in 15 years today to offer sky watchers a stunning astronomical double bill.

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The Moon will turn red only at the highest point of the total lunar eclipse, which starts around 1 AM on the night of July 28.

Unlike a solar eclipse, people can look at a lunar eclipse directly with their own eyes. Unfortunately for anyone in the US, the eclipse will not be visible.

The red or orange rays bleed through the atmosphere hitting the moon, turning it a blood red or orange.

Friday night's blood moon will be the longest-lasting so far this century. In those countries, the moon will appear a deep copper red, because it will be reflecting the light from all the sunrises and sunsets happening around the globe. It is to note that the eclipse won't be visible to viewers in North America, except via webcasts.

The long duration of this eclipse is partly due to the fact that the moon will make a near-central passage through Earth's umbra.

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According to scientists, this eclipse is the longest in the current century.

It depends partly on "how cloudy or transparent those parts of the Earth's atmosphere are which enable sunlight to reach the moon", he said.

The moon also plotted a fairly long path across the Earth's disk-shaped shadow.

The view of the eclipsed moon and the sun is possible, weather allowing, because the rays of light from the sun and moon refract, or bend, around the earth's atmosphere. The next similar lunar eclipse is speculated to witness in 2123.

The moon was in flawless alignment with the sun and Earth on Friday, with the moon on the opposite side of the Earth from the sun.

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