The longest total lunar eclipse of the century concluded Friday night, showcasing a blood moon for most of the Eastern Hemisphere. Coincidentally, Mars was also at its brightest, putting two bright red objects in the sky. It began in Australia and Indonesia, and it moved across the globe. The lunar eclipse ended around 7:30 p.m. ET. The totality of the lunar eclipse lasted about an hour and 43 minutes, but the partial eclipse before and after the total phase meant the moon spent nearly four hours crossing the Earth’s shadow.
The lunar eclipse happened during daylight hours for those in the Western Hemisphere, so people in North America missed it. Lunar eclipses can occur only during a full moon, and this one was extra special because it was also the blood moon. The moon was in perfect alignment with the sun and Earth on Friday, with the moon on the opposite side of the Earth from the sun.
This full moon in July was also known as the Full Buck Moon and the Thunder Moon, occurring when a male deer’s antlers are in full growth and at a time of frequent thunderstorms, according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac. It was also a “mini-moon” because the moon was the farthest from Earth and appears small. The fact that the moon appeared so small and took longer to pass through Earth’s shadow was also why the eclipse lasted longer.
In case you missed it