'Maria' to usher in total lunar eclipse

Aside from the Philippines, the eclipse will also be seen in Antartica, Australasia, Asia, Russia (except northern Russia), Africa, Europe and east of South America. It is said the full eclipse will last over an hour and 30 minutes, whereas the partial eclipse would last over an hour. "That's why a full moon at or near lunar apogee adds to the duration of a total lunar eclipse", Duari said.

Lunar eclipse will occur on July 27, Khidir Mikayilov, Deputy Director of Shamakhi Astrophysical Observatory named after Nasiraddin Tusi for Scientific Affairs of the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences (ANAS), told APA. A partial eclipse precedes and follows the lunar eclipse, each time lasting 1 hour and 6 minutes.

A lunar eclipse is when the sun, Earth, and moon align and the planet's shadow is cast on the moon, giving it an eerie red hue.

The eclipse will take place at or around midnight for Madagascar and the Middle East. Europe and Africa will view it sometime between sunset and midnight on 27 July, whereas most of Asia, Indonesia and Australia will view it in the morning - sometime between midnight and sunrise on 28 July.

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Scientists say the reason this lunar eclipse is especially long is because the moon is passing nearly directly through the central part of Earth's shadow.

This period of total eclipse lasted for one hour 46.4 minutes.

Meanwhile, there is a twist: the expected astronomical event has reignited the blood moon prophecy. This is another unusual event - the great opposition of Mars, which occurs every 15 years. The Earth's atmosphere filters out most of the sun's blue light, so the moon looks red.

In the United States, the eclipse will occur in the daytime, so Americans will miss out on seeing this very special lunar eclipse live.

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