Eyes turn to the sky for lunar eclipse

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"I managed to get the maximum eclipse but from then on the monstrous clouds took over, got home around 5ish", he said. The long duration of this eclipse is partly due to the fact that the moon will make a near-central passage through Earth's umbra - the darkest, most central part of the shadow.

In East African, we will experience total phase of the "blood moon" eclipse from 8:14pm and it will last for 1 hour 42 minutes and 57 seconds.

Skywatchers are in for a rare treat Friday: the longest lunar eclipse of the century.

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The Royal Astronomical Society said Mars and the moon will appear low in the sky for everyone in the United Kingdom, so a location with an unobstructed southeastern horizon will afford the best view.

Unlike a solar eclipse, which can be viewed only from a certain relatively small area of the world, a lunar eclipse may be viewed from anywhere on the night side of Earth.

Amateur astronomers in the southern hemisphere were best-placed to witness the rare sight, especially in southern Africa, Australia, and Madagascar, though it was also visible in Europe, South Asia and South America.

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The moon will also be at the farthest point on its orbit from Earth, making its movement across the sky slower from our perspective, thus spending longer in the dark.

"All eclipses are spectacular", the Royal Astronomical Society's Robert Massey said.

On Primrose Hill, north London, would-be-moon admirers broke into a rendition of "Total eclipse of the heart" to lift the soggy mood. It had arrangements for residents to see through the telescope the Super Blue Blood Moon on January 31, when the event occurred after 150 years. It happens when the sun, Earth, and moon are perfectly lined up, which means the Earth's shadow completely covers the moon. The planet, which has been visible with the naked eye for more than a week, won't be as close to Earth for another 17 years. "At most perihelic oppositions, including this one, the planet retreats to the belly of the ecliptic low in the southern sky".

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This month, Mars will be at its closest to Earth since 2003. So if bad weather disrupts your opportunity on Friday, there will be more chances.

Although it won't look almost as large as the blood moon, Mars will be its largest if you're looking through a telescope and close to its maximum brightness in our sky.

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