"The moon is not always in ideal alignment with the sun and the Earth, so that is why we do not get a lunar eclipse every lunar cycle", Brad Tucker, an astronomer with the Australian National University's Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, said in a statement.
While lunar eclipses are treated with curiosity and wonder today, it wasn't always so.
The eclipse will happen on the night of July 27 into the early morning of July 28. In Auckland the eclipse is still partial (i.e. totality is yet to begin) as the Moon disappears below the horizon. But alas, for those of us here in North America, this lunation won't be visible since it will occur in the late afternoon.
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If you were standing on the moon at the time of the eclipse , the Earth would look like a black disk outlined in glowing red. It will be at opposition, which means that it's at the opposite side of the Sun to the Earth.
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The eclipse will be visible to people in Europe, Africa and the Middle East on July 27 between sunset and midnight. However, existing superstitions and myths among the people in India keeps them from witnessing one of the most attractive phenomenon of universe.
Our constant companion will also be at the farthest point on its orbit from Earth, making its movement across the sky slower from our perspective, thus spending longer in the dark. When this happens, Earth blocks the sunlight that normally reaches the moon. And finally, there are total lunar eclipses, where the entire moon passes through the umbra.
It will cast the Moon into shadow for one hour and 43 minutes, during which its colour will appear to be anything from orange to a deep crimson. However, its disc does not go completely dark because some sunlight - mainly the longer-wavelength, redder end of the spectrum - passes through our atmosphere and is bent around the edge of our planet so that it falls on to the moon's surface.
The best time to see the celestial wonder will be 8.49pm in London, 9.46pm in Glasgow, 9.02pm in Cardiff and 9.27pm in Belfast, with mid-eclipse occurring at 9.21pm and the "total" phase ending at around 10.13pm.
Total solar eclipses are much rarer, however. "To miss such an event would be a pity", Ramanujam, who is also a member of the Public Outreach and Education Committee at Astronomical Society of India, told PTI. The next total lunar eclipse will be on June 26, 2029 which will be for a total of one hour and 42 minutes.
On Friday, the moon will be fully engulfed in the heart of Earth's shadow for 1 hour, 42 minutes and 57 seconds.