Skywatchers Looking Forward To Complete Lunar Eclipse

SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES - JULY 27: The full moon rises near Bondi Beach ahead of a total lunar eclipse, on July 27, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. The period of totality during this eclipse, when Earth's shadow is directly across the moon and it is at its reddest, will last 1 hour, 42 minutes and 57 seconds, making it the longest viewable lunar eclipse this century. (Photo by Brook Mitchell/Getty Images)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Skywatchers around much of the world are looking forward to a complete lunar eclipse that will be the longest this century.

The so-called “blood moon” Friday, when it turns a deep red, will be visible at different times in Australia, Africa, Asia, Europe and South America when the sun, Earth and moon line up perfectly, casting Earth’s shadow on the moon.

The total eclipse will last 1 hour and 43 minutes, with the entire event lasting closer to four hours.

In a special treat, Mars is in opposition on Friday — meaning the planet and the sun will be on exact opposite sides of the Earth and will shine its best. Mars is also at its closest approach to Earth this week since 2003, making it appear bigger and brighter.

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