Longest Lunar Eclipse Of The Century Occurs Tonight

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The totality, which, you may recall, is when the Earth's shadow covers the moon and casts the world into darkness, will last one hour and 43 minutes.

On the same day as the eclipse, the planet Mars will be at its brightest as it travels close to Earth. The eclipse will already have started by the time the Moon rises over the United Kingdom and Western Europe.

Various Bible passages are cited to back this up, including one in the Book of Joel saying, 'The sun will turn into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and bad day of the Lord comes'. Additionally, Mars and the sun will be on exact opposite sides of the Earth and will shine its best.

Unlike a solar eclipse, the lunar event can be viewed without wearing protective eye gear. That's because some of the sunlight going through Earth's atmosphere is bent around the edge of our planet and falls onto the moon's surface.

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In addition, the event will also be visible in parts of South-America, parts of Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia.

Gerst, who recently took part in a Kraftwerk concert from his position on the International Space Station, managed to take a photograph of the eclipse in full sway from the manmade satellite 408 kilometers above earth.

Robert Massey, deputy executive director of the Royal Astronomical Society, said it was a "very unusual coincidence to have a total lunar eclipse and Mars at opposition on the same night". Including that penumbral time, the eclipse will last for 3 hours and 55 minutes.

The partial eclipse of the Moon will begin at 11.54 p.m. on July 27.

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It will appear like a bright star, before fading from sight a few minutes later. But you might be able to get a good view of Mars. Picture: Michael GrayA composite photograph showing the various phases of the moon during a lunar eclipse in Sydney.

Dr Brown said: 'At this time, the moon passes into the shadow of the Earth, blocking the light from the sun.

Sadly, if you live in the Northern Hemisphere, you'll miss the lunar eclipse because it will take place during our daylight hours.

If you're in North America and want to watch the lunar eclipse, you still can. That's how it gets the dramatic-sounding "blood moon" nickname. According to NASA, India is one of the best places to watch the total lunar eclipse.

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