A total lunar eclipse on 2018 July, 28

A total lunar eclipse on 2018 July, 28

Total lunar eclipse July 28, 2018,
from the Northern Cape

A highlight for me was the total lunar eclipse end of July this year. The eclipse was visible excellent in a clear night sky from Kathu in South Africa. However, the total lunar eclipse on July 28, 2018, started in the evening in the Northern Cape at 19:14. It was exactly the right time after sunset for watching the magic.

Interesting on this lunar eclipse was that planet Mars had the nearest position to the moon for 15 years. Also, Mars had the nearest distance to earth as well.  This constellation happens only for one time for 25000 years. That makes Mars to a bright shiny object on the night sky indeed.  The duration was the longest for a total lunar eclipse in this century. With 103 minutes it was a long and enjoyable occurrence.

A lunar eclipse occurs when the earth takes a position between the moon and the sun, simply spoken. Lunar eclipses are not so rare as expected. It was already the second in this year. The next lunar eclipse will occur on January 21, 2019.

From the begin, until the partial shadow started it took around one hour. From then the moon changed the colour into a deep red. For the next hour, the moon kept this dark red colour. Now it was the moment of the culmination of the lunar eclipse on the night sky. The deep red gives the moon a mystical glance. From now on the shadow moved out of the moon and the colour changed back to the usual yellow.

The night sky magic finished after 6 hours at 1:30 the next morning. The cool and clean air in Kathu was perfect for a stunning eclipse. Also, the light pollution isn’t so strong in Kathu. That makes the planet Mars easily to identify.

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