Chance to witness rare celestial display

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 11 Jul 2018

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia will witness the longest eclipse of this century and catch a rare celestial display, where the moon, Mars and the Milky Way will be visible side by side at the end of the month.

Astronomer Shahrin Ahmad said the phenomenon will last one hour and 43 minutes on July 28.

“It’s a rare chance for stargazers and astrophotographers to witness this event and capture the moment,” he said.

He said the moon will take almost four hours to cross the Earth’s dark umbral shadow.

The eclipse will likely happen between 2.24am and 6.19am.

“However, the total eclipse, where the moon is in shadow and appears ‘blood red’ is between 3.30am and 5.13am,” he said.

Shahrin said Mars will appear the brightest ever over the last 15 years as it inches closer to Earth that night.

Aside from Malaysia, he said the eclipse will also be visible across Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, South America and the Middle East.

“The best place to watch the eclipse is in Peninsular Malaysia and not on the Borneo island due to its location, position of the moon and time difference,” he said.

Shahrin said places in the east coast states, where there are many dark spots free from light pollution, will be ideal to observe and photograph this rare phenomenon.

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