The longest lunar eclipse of the century is coming on July 27, so there’s a few things you should know before the celestial event!
It’s official: the longest lunar eclipse of the century is headed our way. On Friday, July 27 the moon will transform into a deep red & orange hue for more than 100 minutes, according to NASA. The event could quite literally be a once in a lifetime experience, as it’s set to be the longest eclipse of the entire century! However, not everyone will be able to see the blood moon. We’re sharing the top 5 details you need to know about the upcoming celestial event below.
1. The Eclipse will most likely be the longest in your lifetime. The eclipse, which will occur as the moon passes through the Earth’s stratosphere, will be visible to moon-gazers for exactly an hour and 42 minutes in total. This is an abnormally longer window than usual, which is what makes the event so special. Star gazers might want to pack snacks for the lengthy viewing party!
2. Sorry North America, you’re out of luck. The U.S. and other North American countries will unfortunately be missing out. “In the U.S., the lunar eclipse will start around 1:14 p.m. ET, and the maximum period of totality will start around 4:21 p.m. ET, making it too light outside for the blood moon to be visible,” Noah Petro, a scientist for the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, told ABC News.
3. Where to find the best views across the globe. The “best seat in the house” for this viewing will be in Ethiopia, according to NASA. Other lucky viewers include those living in the Eastern Hemisphere. Residents of Australia and other eastern regions will be able to see the moon as it sets, while those in Europe, western Africa, and South America, will see the moon as it rises.
4. When to watch: The partial eclipse begins at 18:24 UTC (Universal Time), the total eclipse begins at 19:30 UTC, and the greatest eclipse will be at 20:22 UTC. If you’re one of the lucky ones in viewing range, you can find the best time to watch in your time zone by entering your location here.
5. It’s not a total loss for the U.S. Although U.S. residents won’t be able to see the eclipse, there’s still a reason to be excited. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, NASA’s robotic spacecraft orbiting the moon, will experience it first-hand. The LRO was launched in June 2009 to provide detailed maps to identify “safe and interesting” landing sites on the moon.
If you’re a total space geek and seeing the eclipse secondhand doesn’t do it for you, don’t worry – it’s still not too late to buy that flight to Ethiopia.