There might once have been life on... the Moon? Yes, say researchers

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Mars is making its closest approach to Earth in 15 years on Tuesday, which means the red planet will be shinier and bigger and easier to observe, said USA space agency NASA. "The totality itself will last for an hour and 43 minutes", said Director of BM Birla Science Centre, B G Sidharth, in a report by PTI. A lunar eclipse is when the earth gets between the sun and the full moon.

People in areas experiencing the total eclipse may also want to spend a few moments looking at other parts of the sky for some shooting stars. The reddish hue of the Moon is because the earth has an atmosphere and when the sun's light reaches the atmosphere, gases in the air actually scatter or bend the light.

Unlike with solar eclipses, lunar eclipses are less common and safe to watch meaning you can view it without using protective eyewear.

In Invercargill, there was five minutes between sunrise at 8.12am and moonset shortly after, with the moon entirely within Earth's shadow.

If it's clear, towards the end of the eclipse have a look for the planet Mars, which will be about six degrees (roughly the width of three fingers held at arm's length) below the moon. During this event, it's not unsafe to look up at the moon.

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In East Africa, a partial Eclipse will begin at 21:30, "bloody moon" will be visible between 22:30 and 00:13.

That means anyone who is on the side of the earth that is experiencing nighttime will be able to see the lunar eclipse whereas a solar eclipse can only be seen by the people, who are where the moon's shadow falls.

If neither of those options works for you, or if their views are occluded, we recommend making a friend in the region and having them Skype you in. When this happens, the moon turns rusty orange or deep reed in color and is how it earned the nickname of a blood moon eclipse.

On January 31, the world witnessed the Super Blue Blood Moon which hasn't happened in 152 years.

At the same time, Mars will hover near the moon in the night sky, easily visible with the naked eye.

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If the weather cooperates, most of eastern Africa, the Middle East, and central Asia should see the full and total lunar eclipse on Friday.

According to the experts the moon will be the farthest and smallest full moon of the entire year and it will produce the longest total lunar eclipse that many of us on Earth will never get a chance to see again.

The effect is known as Rayleigh scattering and according to Professor Mark Birkshaw, University of Bristol, is caused by scattered sunlight in the Earth's atmosphere.

"The higher you are, the better, because the sun will be barely clearing the horizon as the moon sets in the opposite direction".

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