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.