Saturday, 21 July 2018

Total lunar eclipse to be visible from East Africa and South Asia.

A total Lunar Eclipse will occur on Friday 27 July 2018, starting slightly before 5.13 pm am GMT. It will be visible across much of Southern, Central and East Africa, as well as South and Southwest Asia, Antarctica, and the Islands of the Indian Ocean. Part of the eclipse will be visible from remaining areas of Asia and Africa as well as Europe, Australia, South America, the islands of the Atlantic, west Pacific, and east Caribbean, although in these areas the Moon will either rise part way through the eclipse, or set before it is complete.

 Areas from which the 27 July 2018 Lunar Eclipse will be visible. In the white area the full extent of the eclipse will be visible, in the shaded areas it will either begin before the Moon rises or end after the Moon has set, while in the darkest area it will not be visible at all. HM Nautical Almanac Office.

The Moon produces no light of its own, but 'shines' with reflected light from the Sun. Thus at Full Moon the Moon is on the opposite side of the Earth to the Sun, and its illuminated side is turned towards us, but at New Moon the Moon is between the Earth and the Sun, so that its illuminated side is turned away from us.

 How the phases of the Moon are caused by the relative positions of the Earth, Sun and Moon. Karl Tate/

Lunar eclipses occur when the Moon passes through the Earth's shadow. This can only happen at Full Moon (unlike Solar Eclipses, which happen only when the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sum, and therefore only occur at New Moon), but does not happen every Lunar Month as the Sun, Moon and Earth are not in a perfect, unwavering line, but rather both the Earth and the Moon wobble slightly as they orbit their parent bodies, rising above and sinking bellow the plane of the ecliptic (the plane upon which they would all be in line every month). 

 Phases of the Lunar Eclipse that will be seen on 27 July 2018. The times are given in GMT, to the nearest 10th of a minute, thus 23.30.3 represents 18 seconds after 11.30 pm GMT. HM Nautical Almanac Office.

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