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Century’s longest lunar eclipse marked by local observers

PHUKET: The National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand (Narit) has reported many successful sightings of the total lunar eclipse in the early hours of this morning (July 28), though the cloud cover over Phuket during the phenomenon left local observers with only glimpses during the breaks in the clouds.

By The Phuket News

Saturday 28 July 2018, 11:08AM

Not all in the South were left with poor visibility, however, as Narit observers in Songkhla reported – and photographed – many substantial observations.

The total eclipse lasted one hour and 43 minutes – and the full transit as the moon passed through the Earth’s shadow lasted closer to four hours – making today’s eclipse the longest observers will see this century.

The Songkhla observers recorded the transit as from 2:30am to 4:13 am, and the “mid-eclipse” of the “blood moon” at 3:21am.

The recording of such a phenomenon by local observers was reported as “an honour for Songkhla.”

“It is rare to find such a record at this observatory,” local observers noted.

Also under observation early this morning was Mars, which this week makes one of its closest passes to Earth since 2003.

Making their observations at 10:27pm last night with a 70-centimetre telescope at the Songkhla Observatory, astronomers noted that even at a distance of about 57.8 million kilometre, “The polar ice caps on Mars and the Martian surface are clearly visible.”

The observers are looking forward to clear skies on Tuesday (July 31), when Mars will be the closest it has been to Earth for 15 years at a distance of about 57.6 million kilometres.

“This range is ideal for observations of Mars. It will be bright and a very large size (compared with normal transit visibility),” the Narit observers noted.

“It will be visible clearly from the southeast, from sunset to the morning.”



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