A major lunar event is coming!
Last summer, a total solar eclipse with a path of totality spanning the United States captured the nation’s attention. This week, another major moment will have everyone staring at the sky.
The longest total lunar eclipse of the 21st century will occur this Friday, July 27, and should be visible from much of the world. Prime viewing locations for the four-hour long event include Cairo, Egypt; Santorini, Greece; and Harare, Zimbabwe. Unfortunately for Americans, one of the few parts of the globe that won’t see the spectacle is the U.S. But anyone who happens to be traveling through Eastern Europe, East Africa, the Middle East, Central or Southeast Asia or Western Australia, here’s a heads up! (Literally.)
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The lunar eclipse totality will occur for an hour and 43 minutes, which is just shy of the longest possible totality: one hour and 47 minutes, according to Time.
The time at which the eclipse will be visible varies depending on the viewer’s location. Eastern Europe, for example, will experience the eclipse starting at 10:30 PM while Western Australia won’t see anything until 3:30AM local time. Check out this diagram to determine when it will be visible in your area.
A total lunar eclipse occurs when the earth passes directly between the sun and moon, making the moon fall into shadow. This phenomenon also causes what’s commonly called a “blood moon” because of the reddish glow the moon appears to emit during sunset and sunrise.
In August 2017, the U.S. experienced eclipse fever when the path of totality of a solar eclipse crossed the country from Oregon to South Carolina. Celebrities got in on the excitement, with everyone from Lady Gaga to Larry King to the cast of Scandal, donning their glasses or making DIY viewing devices for the moment. President Donald Trump famously broke the primary rule of eclipse viewing and looked directly into the sun without proper protective eyewear.
Luckily, checking out a lunar eclipse doesn’t require special glasses.