Blood Moon rising over Dubrovnik

The Maximum Eclipse or Blood Moon at 4.21am. – KHAIRIL HASSAN

The Maximum Eclipse or Blood Moon at 4.21am. – KHAIRIL HASSAN

Hundreds of skywatchers armed with telescopes, binoculars and cameras gathered at Sydney Observatory in Millers Point and Braeside Park in Melbourne to catch the best view of the longest total lunar eclipse this century.

The so-called "blood moon", when it turns a deep red, is visible at different times in Australia, Africa, Asia, Europe and South America when the sun, Earth and moon line up perfectly, casting Earth's shadow on the moon.

In the night from 27 to 28 July, the entire world witnessed the unique phenomenon - the longest lunar Eclipse of the XXI century.

Those with clear skies last night were out in full force to document the impressive display.

People hoping to see the blood moon in the United Kingdom were left disappointed after the weather took a turn for the worse and obscured the view.

For Logan Govender, spokesperson for the Durban Astronomical Society, the eclipse would intrigue budding astronomers.

There is quite a long wait until the next lunar eclipse which happens on January 21, 2019.

Durban residents had their eyes to the skies from the onset of darkness, watching as the moon entered Earth's shadow.

The length of the eclipse is determined by the alignment of the sun, Earth and the moon, as well as the distance between the moon and our planet.

The moon which is described by scientists as the Earth's natural satellite turned a striking shade of red or ruddy brown, during the total eclipse.

The total lunar eclipse lasted for almost 1 hour, 42 minutes from Friday late night to early hours on Saturday.

"There is no reason to believe that blood moons foretell doom", said Massey.

During a very dark eclipse the moon may be nearly invisible.

What is a blood moon?

The thick monsoon clouds over the city, however, restricted a clear view of the eclipse, disappointing several photography enthusiasts.

"The moon turned a attractive crimson red colour in the west and Mars was just above and left of it, looking a yellow-orange colour", he told ABC News.

The next lunar eclipse of such a length is due in 2123.

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