Longest total lunar eclipse of century coincides with Mars being unusually close to Earth

Whether you are scrambling to pack for a holiday or swigging an ale in your local beer garden, take a moment on Friday evening to look up. The longest “blood moon” this century will be closely tracked by Mars through the sky in a double celestial treat of a kind that will not be repeated for decades.

The moon will rise from the horizon tinged a deep, rusty red as it is totally eclipsed by the Earth. About half an hour later, Mars will rise in the same place, sparkling brighter than usual because, in an astronomical coincidence, it is closer to us than at any time during the past 15 years.

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Read More Blood moon and Mars to provide double celestial treat on Friday

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