Keep looking up, sky gazers. There is a very special lunar eclipse coming this week. It is expected to be the longest of this century, and you can watch it live! 

Eastern Hemisphere dwellers are in great luck on this one. The lunar 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 Popular Mechanics.  All told, including the time where the moon is partially masked, the eclipse will last somewhere around FOUR hours. Yes. Four. 

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According to Smithsonian.com, the reason for the extreme length of the eclipse is that a few things are aligning. The moon will cross almost directly through the very center of Earth’s shadow, while it is at a “particularly distant point from Earth in its monthly orbit”. At the same time, Earth will be its furthest from the sun and casting an extra long shadow. All of those factors mean that NASA estimates the total lunar eclipse will last 1 hour and 43 minutes. That’s only FOUR minutes short of the longest total eclipse possible! 

If you’re in the Western Hemisphere, or other far reaches without a clear view, fear not! You can watch a livestream of the event! The Virtual Telescope Project will be livestreaming the eclipse starting at 2:30 p.m. EDT.

So get out there and watch some science magic, moon enthusiasts! The blood moon awaits! 

 

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Jenny Flack

Co-founder and Senior Contributor to Geek Girl Authority.
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