Brunei gazes at Total Lunar Eclipse, longest of this century


Hundreds flocked to the Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium in the tech hub of Bengaluru on a cool Friday night to witness the spectacle in a hazy sky even as the red moon played hide and seek.

According to the SA Astronomical Observatory (SAAO), the eclipse could be seen with or without a visual aid.

For those lucky enough, and unlike a solar eclipse, the lunar event could be viewed without wearing protective eye gear. Incredible "blood" moon can be seen from different parts of the world.

Aside form the eclipse itself (which lasted one hour, 42 minutes and 57 seconds) the moon also underwent a phenomenon known as a "blood moon". More than 2,000 people including many children armed with binoculars gathered in the Tunisian capital of Tunis.

"Until today I thought Mars, Jupiter and the other planets were in the imagination of scientists", she said. Southern parts of the country were likely to have clear weather.

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Sources said from 11.45 pm, people were staring at the sky and the white moon was playing hide-and-seek with the clouds in Chennai.

Some Britons had better luck however, with the Grenadier Guards stationed in Iraq posting images showing troops gazing at a red-sheened moon hanging in a clear sky.

At this time, "red planet" appeared like an orange-red star.

This year's eclipse lasted for 103 minutes, only four minutes shy of the longest possible duration a lunar eclipse can ever last on Earth, and was visible to people in the UK, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australasia and South America.

The Maximum Eclipse or Blood Moon at 4.21am.

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"There is no reason to believe that blood moons foretell doom", said Massey.

Since moon has no natural light of its own, it is visible from the earth only when sunlight reflects off it.

The eclipse will not be visible to residents of the USA as by the time the moon rises at night in the USA, it will have already completed its journey through Earth's shadow, or Umbra. "For those alive today, it's a unique event", said Sven Melchert, head of a local society of astronomy enthusiasts in Heppenheim, western Germany, cited by the DPA news agency.

NASA, meanwhile, called out social media hoaxers claiming that Mars would appear as big as the moon during the eclipse. This month, Mars will be at its closest to Earth since 2003.

The Virtual Telescope Project shared a livestream of the lunar eclipse and Mars at its brightest just a few degrees apart above the skyline of Rome.

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"When an observer goes out to look, what they'll see is that the moon appears to get darker and darker and darker, typically a reddish color or brownish color and that takes place over a number of hours", Derrick Pitts, chief astronomer at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, told CBSN.