The longest moon eclipse for a century on Friday night

moon eclipseMoon eclipse : Håkon Mosvold Larsen / NTB scanpix

The longest moon eclipse for a century will happen on Friday night

Scientists promise a beautiful sight when the century’s longest total moon eclipse occurs on Friday.


The total eclipse will begin at 21.30 and lasts until 23.13. Probably the moon will become a beautiful red colour.

“The eclipse on Friday will be a particularly impressive sight, both because of the duration, and because the moon is low above the horizon,” said Anne Mette Sannes, who together with astrophysicist Knut Jørgen Røed Ødegaard runs the website.

Mars especially big

According to Sannes and Ødegaard, it will be 105 years before the next time such a long-term total moon eclipse occurs.

The possibilities for a red moon depend on the atmospheric conditions. Large amounts of ash and soot particles can cause the moon to become less bright, without the red colour.

On top of Friday’s total eclipse of the moon, the planet Mars will emerge just below the moon – something the hosts refer to as the ‘absolute highlight’ of the event.

“On Friday night, Mars is closer to us than it has been for 15 years, and the brightness is therefore particularly pronounced. We will experience something as exclusive as a red moon, which stands directly across the red planet’’, said Ødegaard.

The space station glides over the sky

Mars is not the only planet that will be visible on Friday night.

Pål Brekke, the senior advisor for space research coordination at the Norwegian Space Center, said that Jupiter will also be visible in the sky show. At the same time, he drew attention to the international space station as an additional attraction.

‘’The space station is about 350 kilometres above sea level and travels at 27,000 kilometres per hour. It will appear in the sky at approximately 00.08 on Saturday, and spend three minutes crossing the sky before it enters the earth’s shadow,” Brekke told NTB news.

‘’It looks like a very strong star that slides slowly over the sky,’’Brekke added on the subject of the space station, which will also be visible in the days before the total eclipse.

Best seen in the south

The station is only visible in southern Norway on Friday. The same goes for the actual total eclipse of the moon.

‘’It’s because the moon is too low in the sky. The further north you come, the closer the horizon is during the total eclipse, and further north, the moon will only be visible during the partial eclipse,’’ explained Brekke.

The partial eclipse means that you can see the earth’s shadow move over the moon after the end of the complete phase, then disappear around the clock at 00.19. How much of the eclipse will become visible depends on where you are, and on when the moon comes up.

To those who want to see an eclipse, Brekke has the following advice:

‘’Find a high place with a clear view in the south. Stay tuned. The eclipse is fully visible with the naked eye, even though you can see more detail with binoculars.


© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today