Longest total lunar eclipse of century on Friday

Scientists say the longest total lunar eclipse of this century will grace the night sky on Friday, turning the moon a reddish color.

NASA says the lunar eclipse will last for 1 hour and 43 minutes with total viability in Eastern Africa and Central Asia. Residents in most of the world will be able to see at least a partial eclipse. However, it won’t be visible from North America.

Scientists say that in the United States the period of totality will start around 4:21 p.m. Eastern time, making it too light outside to see the red moon.

During a lunar eclipse, the moon appears to be red because it lines up perfectly with the Earth and sun such that the Earth’s shadow totally blocks the sun’s light. The moon loses the brightness normally caused by the reflection of the sun’s light and takes on an eerie, reddish glow, giving the lunar eclipse moon the nickname of blood moon.

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(“Blood moon” eclipse in Sierra Nevada, California, in April 2014. Photo: Doug Jones/flickr.com)