'Blood moon' century's longest eclipse, amazes viewers

The "blood moon" captivated viewers around the world in the century's longest eclipse.
By Tyler MacDonald | Sep 26, 2018
On Friday, the longest "blood moon" eclipse amazed skygazers around the world. Not only that, the event coincided with Mars' closest approach in 15 years, making for a unique celestial spectacle.

"Until today I thought Mars, Jupiter and the other planets were in the imagination of scientists," said Purity Sailepo of Maasai community southwest of the Kenyan capital Nairobi. "But now I've seen it I can believe it and I want to be an astronomer to tell other people."

Unlike solar eclipses, viewers did not need to wear protective gear. The unique period of a complete eclipse is also known as "totality," when the moon appears to be its darkest. It lasted for six hours and 14 minutes from 1714 to 2328 GMT.

"I hope this eclipse will bring us happiness and peace," said Karima, 46, as she stared at the sky.

However, monsoon rainstorms hid the event from some observers. Not only that, but an overcast sky left some people watching from beaches and cliffs in the English county of Dorset with nothing to look at.

"It's disappointing," said Tish Adams, 67. "I took a few photos but there was nothing but a streak of pink in the sky."

Interestingly, NASA called out some social media hoaxers that said Mars would look as big as the moon during the eclipse.

"If that were true, we'd be in big trouble given the gravitational pulls on Earth, Mars, and our moon!" the agency said.

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