Today, Friday July 27, 2018 the much expected total lunar eclipse or rather ‘blood moon’ will be here with us. Nigerians from every nook and cranny of this country can see one of the greatest astronomical spectacles of the 21st century tomorrow.
The Guardian had reported that Nigeria and most other parts of the world would on July 27, 2018 experience blood moon- a spectacular total lunar eclipse.
A ‘blood moon’ happens when Earth’s moon is in full eclipse and has no special astronomical significance, rather, the view in the sky is striking as the usually whitish moon becomes red or ruddy-brown.
According to the Science News, Nigeria will experience total lunar eclipse, which would be is fully visible in Lagos.
The total lunar eclipse is sometimes called a blood moon, as the moon turns red.
Also, timeanddate.com reported on all eclipses worldwide from 1900 to 2100.
It noted that there would be total lunar eclipse on July 27, 2018 and January 21, 2019; partial lunar eclipse on July 16/17, 2019; transit mercury eclipse on November 21, 2019; and penumbral lunar eclipse January 10, 2020.
Also, on July 27, Mars will pass closer to Earth than it has done for 15 years.
The phenomenon, known as perihelic opposition, will make the red planet appear larger and brighter than normal in the night sky.
The rare event occurs when Mars reaches its closest point to the sun as the same time as Earth’s orbit brings it directly between the two.
Although the actual point of opposition will take place on July 27, Mars will be noticeably larger for the majority of the month of July.
Perihelic opposition can be seen with the naked eye, meaning there is no need for expensive equipment for stargazers to spot the rare event next month.
The celestial events have been confirmed by the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) Abuja and the United States National Aeronautic Space Agency (NASA).
The space agency said Nigeria, like most of Africa, the Middle East, southern Asia and the Indian Ocean region would witness a total Lunar Eclipse on the 27th of July 2018.
Head media and corporate communications of the Agency, Dr. Felix Ale, told The Guardian: “The Eclipse in Nigeria will start around 6:44pm as partial eclipse and developed into a total eclipse around 7:30pm.
The Eclipse is expected to reach its peak around 9:21pm and wane from then until the eclipse ends around 12:30am of the 28th of July 2018.
“The total Eclipse will last for about 1 hour and 43 minutes, making it the longest total Lunar Eclipse of the 21st century.
No other Lunar Eclipse will be as long as this in the century.
The moon is expected to turn reddish as against the familiar whitish appearance in the period of totality.
Hence the appellation of ‘Blood Moon’.” According to him, the moon orbits around Earth, while Earth orbits around the sun.
The moon takes about 27 days to orbit Earth and goes through regular phases in a 29.5-day cycle.
Lunar eclipses can only occur during a full moon when the sun fully illuminates the surface.
Ale said that not all full moon has eclipse because the moon orbits in a slightly different plane than the Earth and the Sun, pointing out that when the planes coincide and the Earth passes in between the Moon and the Sun, it cut off the sun rays from reaching the moon directly and thereby causing an eclipse.
“If Earth partially blocks the sun, and the darkest part of its shadow falls across the moon’s surface, it is called a partial eclipse.
Hence a black shadow will be seen taking a bite out of the moon.
Sometimes, the moon passes through the lighter part of Earth’s shadow, causing a penumbral eclipse and total eclipse occur when the Earth completely block Sun rays from reaching the moon,” he said.
Source: The Guardian