Start planning now for longest lunar eclipse of the century

The Royal Astronomical Society of New Zealand website shows the total eclipse - or blood moon - starting in New Zealand at a few seconds before 7.30am. "We will actually be able to see the total eclipse as the Moon is setting, and the Moon will set in total eclipse, which will be a real cool view", says Ian.

CLEVELAND- The longest lunar eclipse of the century happens later this month, but you'll need to start making travel plans if you want to see it.

Why red, you might ask? Some light does get around our planet's atmosphere, lending the moon a reddish-brown hue.

A lunar eclipse occurs when the sun, Earth and moon line up perfectly, casting Earth's shadow on the moon. The entire event will be almost 4 hours long, and the moon will be a deep red or reddish brown color.

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Not everyone will be able to see the long-lasting lunar spectacle, however. The moon can either just make it inside Earth's shadow, or it can travel directly through the middle of its darkness. During the summer months, Earth also swings out to its furthest distance from the sun, allowing it to cast a particularly long shadow. That means the moon will look smaller in the sky and take longer to go through the shadow. It'll be at its most intense at 4:21 p.m. EST. These three factors are what have lengthened the duration of July's eclipse to 1 hour and 43 minutes, which NASA estimates will be the longest total lunar eclipse of the 21st century.

This eclipse will be completely visible in Eastern Africa and Central Asia from 3:30 p.m.to 5:13 p.m. EDT, while viewers in Western Africa, Eastern Asia, South America, Europe, and Australia will catch a partial glimpse, according to Temi Adebowale at Popular Mechanics.

Total lunar eclipses occur roughly about twice a year and the last total eclipse fell on the night of January 31 this year - the Super Blue Blood Moon combo.

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