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The longest total lunar eclipse of this century can be witnessed on Friday night and Saturday morning. Friday's will be long, lasting 1 hour and 43 minutes.

For people in the United Kingdom, the "blood moon" will rise in the south-eastern sky already immersed completely in the Earth's shadow.

Now's the time to catch Mars in the night sky.

"Hence the appellation of "Blood Moon".

It is, however, expected that citizens of the areas from the central province of Thua Thien - Hue southwards are able to see this curious phenomenon if there will be no rain here.

But with cloudy skies across the Philippines forecast for the whole week and a southwest monsoon, weather forecasters are not optimistic Filipinos will get a good view of the eclipse.

The neighboring planet will appear unusually large and bright, a mere 57.7 million kilometers from Earth on its elliptical orbit around the sun.

REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci The moon is seen as it begins a total lunar eclipse that will turn the moon red over Buenos Aires April 15, 2014.

As this theory goes, the super-heated doughnut of molten, vaporized rock and liquid - called a synestia - cooled, then the moon emerged, after which the remaining cloud of vapor condensed to form the Earth.

The reason for this is that the only light reaching the Moon will have been passed through the Earth's atmosphere.

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The July 2018 lunar eclipse will be the longest one till June 9, 2123.

The red color is never quite the same from one lunar eclipse to the next due to natural and human activities that affect Earth's atmosphere.

As the moon lines up with the Earth and the Sun, the moon will darken in colour switching from its silvery glow to a rustic, dark red colour.

In 2003, Mars and Earth were the closest in almost 60,000 years - 34.6 million miles (55.7 million kilometers).

"We can use the moon as a screen where the quality of atmosphere.is projected on that screen and depending on that we can make a little diagnostic of how the atmosphere of the Earth is behaving at that point", he says.

But dust thrown into the atmosphere by recent volcanic eruptions in Hawaii and Guatemala was likely to paint the moon a deeper red.

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

Speaking to JOE, David Moore, Chairman for Astronomy Ireland said: "We'll only see half of the eclipse in Ireland". "Personally, I'm far more drawn to using the lunar allure as an element in my landscapes, or using the moonlight as a light source".

The combination of a supermoon and total lunar eclipse creating a blood moon last occurred in 1982 and will not happen again until 2033.

Closer to home, researchers could conduct experiments in chambers that simulate the early lunar environment, to see whether microbial life could remain viable.


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