Longest lunar eclipse is in the air

SHEER LUNACY: It will be the longest total eclipse of the 21st century. Credit: Shutterstock

THE longest total lunar eclipse of the century will take place tonight (Friday), and Europe, including Spain, is in prime position to admire the spectacle.

A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes completely behind Earth and into its shadow.

It happens when the sun, the Earth and the moon are perfectly aligned, with our planet in the middle, thus blocking sunlight from reaching the moon.

The light then appears reddish, hence the “blood moon” name, and the total eclipse tonight will be visible throughout Spain, starting from 8.24pm and reaching its maximum at 9.30pm.

While the total eclipse phase will last 1 hour and 43 minutes, partial eclipses will occur before and afterwards, meaning that the moon will spend nearly four hours travelling behind earth.

These details have been provided by both the National Astronomical Observatory (OAN) and NASA.

Technology permitting, it will be projected on screens and also retransmitted across the world via the internet.

No eye protection is needed to look at it and it can be viewed through telescopes, which will be available for public use.

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