Lonely Planet Writer

The longest lunar eclipse of this century is happening this week

Stargazers take note – the longest lunar eclipse of the century will take place on the night of 27 to 28 July.

A full lunar eclipse will take place this week. Image by ElOjoTorpe/Getty Images

During July’s full moon, people in the Eastern Hemisphere will be able to see the longest total lunar eclipse of this century, according to EarthSky. A lunar eclipse is caused when the sun, Earth and moon are all aligned, with the moon passing into the Earth’s shadow, giving it a red hue. This time around, the whole lunar eclipse will last for an hour and 43 minutes. That’s quite a long time when compared to the last total lunar eclipse – January’s super blue blood moon – which lasted about an hour and 16 minutes. The reason this eclipse is so long is that it occurs during the July lunar apogee, which means that the moon is at the furthest point away from the Earth in its monthly orbit, reports EarthSky.

Travellers are seeking out space-related experiences. Image by Ross Woodhall/Getty Images

There will also be a partial eclipse to see before and after, so lucky viewers can catch a glimpse during a three hour and 55 minute period. The partial eclipse starts at 6:24 pm UTC, while the total eclipse begins at 7:30 pm UTC. It will be visible mainly in the Eastern hemisphere, including Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. EarthSky notes that South America can watch the end of the eclipse after sunset on the 27th, while people in New Zealand will be able to see the start of the event before sunrise on the 28th.

Unfortunately, people in North America will not be able to see the eclipse. But travellers who are intrigued by the cosmos have more and more amazing experiences available to them, particularly as a number of new dark sky preserves pop up around the world. After last year’s Great American Eclipse caused a huge tourism boom along the path of totality, travellers are already looking to South America for 2019 to view the next total solar eclipse.