ST. PETERSBURG, January 30. /TASS/. Sky watchers in Russia will able to admire a spectacular celestial event - this year’s first total lunar eclipse - on the last day of January, Nikolai Zheleznov, a spokesman for the Institute of Applied Astronomy, told TASS on Tuesday.
According to Zheleznov, the cosmic event will be visible across entire Russia, partially or totally, should the sky be clear of clouds.
"The event will occur from 13:50 to 19:10 Moscow time, with the total phase beginning at 15:51 to end at 17:08 Moscow time. It will be seen practically across entire Russia, as well as in Africa, Australia and New Zealand if the sky is clear," he said.
People living in European Russia will not be able to see the beginning of the lunar eclipse as it will be too early for the moonrise.
The January 31 lunar eclipse will be the first one in 2018, which will be rich is such celestial events. Thus, there will be five lunar eclipses through the year, with the longest one in the past 100 years occurring on July 27.
A lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes within Earth's umbra (shadow). As the eclipse begins, Earth's shadow first darkens the Moon slightly. Then, the shadow begins to "cover" part of the Moon, turning it a dark red-brown color (the color can vary based on atmospheric conditions).