A blood moon appeared in the night sky around much of the world on Friday night as the moon moved into the shadow of the earth for the longest lunar eclipse of the 21st Century, report agencies.
The longest “blood moon” eclipse this century coincided with Mars’ closest approach in 15 years to offer sky gazers a thrilling astronomical double bill.
Viewers needed no protective eye gear to observe the spectacle – unlike when watching a solar eclipse.
For about half the world, the moon was partly or fully in Earth’s shadow from 1714 to 2328 GMT – six hours and 14 minutes in all. The period of complete eclipse – known as “totality,” when the moon appears darkest – will last from 1930 to 2113 GMT.
“Totality lasted for 103 minutes, making it the longest eclipse of the 21st century!” the Royal Astronomical Society said.At the same time, Mars hovered near the moon in the night sky, easily visible with the naked eye.
Our neighbouring planet appeared unusually large and bright, a mere 57.7 million kilometres (35.9 million miles) from Earth on its elliptical orbit around the sun.