July 28: Catch the century's longest total lunar eclipse

Astronomy enthusiasts can mark their calendars for July 28, when the longest total lunar eclipse of the century will take place in Singapore.

The total eclipse will last 1hr 43 min, and will be the longest in the 21st century, according to website EarthSky.

The eclipse, also known as a blood moon, will be mainly visible from the Earth's Eastern Hemisphere, which includes Europe, Africa, Australia and Asia.

In Singapore, it will start from 1.14am, with a total eclipse at 3.30am that will last to 5.13am. This total lunar eclipse is especially long because the moon will be passing through the central part of the Earth's shadow.

According to EarthSky, the longest possible lunar eclipse is 1hr 47min. This was almost achieved on July 16, 2000, when a total lunar eclipse lasted 1hr 46.4min. At the time, the moon aligned almost perfectly with the centre of the Earth's shadow.

On Jan 31 this year, a lunar eclipse, blue moon and a super moon occurred simultaneously. During the event, the total lunar eclipse lasted 1hr 16min.

The next total lunar eclipse on Jan 21 next year will last 1hr 2 min.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 28, 2018, with the headline 'July 28: Catch the century's longest total lunar eclipse'. Print Edition | Subscribe