Century’s longest Total Lunar Eclipse to occur on July 27-28; can be seen from all parts of India

Jul 14, 2018 10:29 IST
Century’s longest Total Lunar Eclipse to occur on July 27-28

A total lunar eclipse will occur on July 27-28, 2018 with a total duration of 1 hour 43 minutes, making it the longest total lunar eclipse of this century (2001 AD to 2100 AD).

The partial eclipse of the Moon will begin on July 27. The Moon will be gradually covered by the Earth’s shadow and the totality phase will begin on July 28. The total eclipse will last up to 2h 43m on July 28. Then the Moon will start to gradually come out of Earth’s shadow and partial eclipse will end on July 28.

Mars opposition

• On July 27, 2018, the Sun and the red planet Mars will lie opposite to each other, keeping the Earth in the middle.

• This will result in Mars coming close to the Earth, causing it to appear brighter than normal and it will be seen from evening to dawn towards the end of July.

• The brighter Mars will remain very close to the eclipsed Moon in the sky on July 27-28 and can be spotted very easily with the naked eye.

• The red planet will reach closest to the Earth on July 31, 2018.  The closest approach of Mars will bring the two planets closest and the planet Mars will be seen brightest since 2003.


Mars opposition generally occurs at an average interval of 2 years and 2 months when the planet comes close to the Earth and becomes brighter. Mars opposition that had occurred in August 2003 brought the two planets closest distance in approximately 60000 years.

Longest Total Lunar Eclipse

• In this particular eclipse, the Moon will pass through the central part of the Earth’s umbral shadow.

• The Moon will be at apogee, means at farthest from the Earth in its orbit on July 27 and will be moving at a slower speed in its orbit.

• This slower moving full Moon will take longer time and greater distance of Earth’s umbral shadow to travel, making it the longest duration of total eclipse of this century.

• The entire eclipse will also be visible from all parts of India.

• The eclipse will also be visible in the region covering Australia, Asia, and Russia - except the northern part, Africa, Europe, east of South America and Antarctica.


Such long duration of total lunar eclipses had earlier occurred on July 16, 2000 for totality duration of 1 hour 46 minutes and another one on June 15, 2011 for totality duration of 1 hour 40 minutes.