27 July eclipse will be longest blood moon visible in Rome this century.
Stargazers in Rome can look forward to witnessing the longest total lunar eclipse of the 21st century on the evening of Friday 27 July, when the moon turns a deep blood red.
This once-in-a-lifetime spectacle is expected to last for more than an hour and 40 minutes. The moon will enter the outer penumbral circle at 19.15, and plunge into the cone of shadow at about 20.20. The total eclipse will start at 21.30 and last until 23.15, slightly longer than the previous record eclipse last January.
Some of the best vantage points in Rome
including the Janiculum hill, Pincio in Villa Borghese and the heights of Monte Mario, or as part of the La notte della luna rossa e del pianeta rosso
viewing event outside the Colosseum, as well as as watching the spectacle over the sea at beaches
in coastal areas such as Fregene, Maccarese and Ostia.
Various cultural academies
, associations and observatories in the capital are organising special viewings, while those who wish to watch from home can do so via the Virtual Telescope
: The Night of the Red Moon and the Red Planet
Unlike a solar viewing, no protective measures for the eyes are necessary meaning viewers can use telescopes and binoculars.
Weather permitting and with a bit of luck, watchers may also spot the International Space Station, crossing the sky at around 21.15 at over 27,000 kmph. To round off the spectacle, Mars, Venus, Jupiter and Saturn will also be particularly bright that evening.
Being almost at the farthest point from earth on its trajectory, the moon will appear slightly smaller than usual. It will also have a pinkish tinge, as it is not illuminated by the sun but by reflected “earthlight”.
The total duration of the shadowing of the moon, scheduled to finish around 20 minutes past midnight, will be almost four hours.
A total lunar eclipse of this length will not occur again until 9 June 2123.