Chandra Grahan or Lunar Eclipse 2018: Date, Time in India, significance

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The lunar eclipse will look like a dark disc slowly moving across the moon's face before the orb starts to glow red from refracted sunlight. In India, lunar eclipse timings will be 10:44 pm tonight and it will end at 4:58 am on July 28. "Since, colour red has the longest wavelength, it passes through the atmosphere and reaches moon, while all other colours get scattered away", said professor of astrophysics, Patrick Dasgupta, from Delhi University.

At 1 hour 43 minutes and 35 seconds, to be exact, the total lunar eclipse will be the longest of the 230 scheduled lunar eclipses to take place this century.

The next total lunar eclipse will occur on December 31, 2028.

"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 will try to watch the eclipse from the Mediterranean Sea. In India, Chandra Grahan will be visible from cities including Delhi, Pune, Bengaluru and Mumbai among others.

The moon will be obscured as the earth will be between the sun and the moon. Once in a while, Earth lines up directly between the sun and the moon.

Moon has no light of its own. The Earth's shadow then falls on the moon. There will also be hot chocolate and different colour fires to keep you warm, as Jooste thrills adults and kids about the stars, the moon and the eclipse.

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NASA, meanwhile, has called out social media hoaxers claiming that Mars will appear as big as the moon during the eclipse.

What is Total Lunar Eclipse? The reason behind it is that this time, the moon will be passing through the centre of the Earth's shadow.

This is what gives the phenomenon the name "blood moon", though Mark Bailey of the Armagh Observatory in Northern Ireland said the colour can vary greatly.

Galloway Forest Dark Sky Park, Sark Dark Sky Island and Exmoor Dark Sky Reserve have all been recognised for their low level of light pollution as the best spots in Britain to catch the rare blood moon.

The longest "blood moon" eclipse this century will coincide with Mars' closest approach in 15 years on Friday to offer skygazers a thrilling astronomical double bill.

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 - the darkest, most central part of the shadow.

How to watch the longest 'blood moon' eclipse of the century
However, for the people of North America, the Moon would be below the horizon due to which, they would have to miss this chance. Since the moon will be at its farthest point from earth, it will take more time to pass through earth's shadow .

The fullest eclipse, at 20:22 GMT, will be visible from Europe, Russia, Africa, the Middle East, much of Asia, and Australia.

"We should have a coppery red tint on the moon with Mars the "Red Planet" just next to it, very bright and with a slight orange hue itself". The duration of the eclipse in Pakistan is expected to be six hours and 14 minutes.

"In the middle of a lunar eclipse it can look as if a red planet has taken up residence near the Earth - they are both eerie and lovely and I'll certainly be looking out for it!"

What do you need to watch the chandra grahan? The whole celestial event is to get over at 3.49 am.

What are common superstitions around lunar eclipse in India?

The International Dark-Sky Association - a US-based organisation whose objective is the preservation of nightlight across the world - identified several areas across the United Kingdom that would give Britons an optimal view of the Lunar eclipse. Astronomers say, Mars will be visible with the naked eye. Yes they can, the light reflected from the moon is less harsh and this allows them to observe a more complete picture of the starry night during a full moon.

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