Longest Lunar Eclipse of the 21st Century Observed at SCASS

27 Jul 2018

​Longest Lunar Eclipse of the 21st Century Observed at SCASS

Because the Moon was near apogee (the most distant point in its orbit) around the July full Moon, the July 27 lunar eclipse was the longest lunar eclipse of the 21st century. This is because the Moon was moving slower in its orbit and just taking more time in the shadow. This past Friday night’s lunar eclipse was more than 20 minutes longer than the last one, which occurred earlier this year on Jan. 31 and which lasted about one hour and 16 minutes. The next one, which is coming up on Jan. 21, 2019, will be 1 hour and 2 minutes.

 As a tradition, the Sharjah Center for Astronomy and Space Sciences organized a special lunar eclipse observation for the public where more than 1,000 persons turned in to see the spectacle using different telescopes and large binoculars set for the special occasion. Besides the eclipse, there was an occasion to see four planets: Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars at its opposition.

 There were live broadcastings of the event on YouTube as well as on Sharjah TV. His HE Prof. Hamid Al-Naimiy, the Chancellor of the University of Sharjah, reported the importance of the lunar eclipse as an astronomical event to enrich the astronomical knowledge of the general public and to bring the sky closer to it. In addition, Prof. Hamid emphasized the role of the Sharjah Center for Astronomy and Space Sciences as a research center in all fields of space sciences. SCASS, as part of the Univesity of Sharjah, is a leading scientific center in the United Arab Emirates with five research laboratories: (1) CubeSat Laboratory; (2) Space Weather and Ionospheric Center; (3) Radio Astronomy Laboratory; (4) Meteorite Center; and (5) Astronomical Observatory. Prof. Hamid stressed the big role of His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah and President of the University of Sharjah for his constant support of the center with all of its components.

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