Published: 20th November 2021
What The FAQ: If you were tripping over the 'Blood Moon' last night, this fact sheet will make it all the more amazing
The longest lunar eclipse in a millennium is no mean feat. It apparently happens once in a blood moon (pun absolutely intended)
Everything about the lunar eclipse on Friday, November 19, was super-cool. The longest partial moon eclipse in a whole millennium? Check. Being actually named 'Blood Moon'? Check. Looking Insta-worthy from every angle? Check and check.
Here's what made this astronomical event so special.
1. How long did the eclipse last?
The moon was a shy beast last night, hiding in the darkest part of the earth's shadow, also known as the Umbra, for a good 3 hours, 28 minutes and 23 seconds. NASA has reported that this is the longest partial lunar eclipse in a 1000 years.
2. From which countries were it visible?
Unfortunately, the time of the eclipse coincided with light hours here in India. It took place between 11.32 am and 5:34 pm IST on November 19. However, some states in the northeast managed to catch a quick glimpse of the eclipse around sun-down. There included Assam, Arunanchal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.
The eclipse was perfectly on view in both the American continents, Western Africa and Wester and parts of Australia and north-eastern Asia.
3. Why was it called the 'Blood Moon'?
When a total eclipse happens as a result of the perfect alignment of the Sun, the Earth and the Moon (in that order), the moon is tinted a bright red. The classification of this particular eclipse was somewhere between a partial lunar eclipse and an "almost total" lunar eclipse. That's because more than 95% of the Moon's disk was shadowed by the Earth's Umbra region. And that's what gave this particular eclipse and bright red blush. Why was it called the 'Blood Moon', you ask? Well, it's safe to assume that the primary reason behind that is the fact that humans are, but a dramatic species. Case in point, the last lunar eclipse this year, which occurred in May and was called the "Super Flower Blood Moon". Yep.
4. What was the longest partial lunar eclipse before this one?
Yesterday's partial lunar eclipse managed to stick it out over a centuries-old record by literal seconds. The longest lunar eclipse before this one occurred way, way back on February 18, 1440, and lasted for a sweet 3 hours, 28 minutes and 46 seconds. Talk about edging in.
5. When is the next big lunar eclipse due?
This lunar eclipse was only the second one this year and will be the last one for some time now in India. The next one is due to be a total lunar eclipse scheduled for November 8, 2022.