“Nigeria will experience a very spectacular total lunar eclipse, on Friday, July 27… It will be visible from 9:30 p.m. and last till 11:20 p.m…”
Nigeria will, tonight, experience a spectacular total lunar eclipse, which will last for one hour.
Leader of Astronomy and Astrophysics Research Group at the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), Prof. Augustine Ubachukwu, made the disclosure yesterday, in a statement he personally signed.
“Nigeria will experience a very spectacular total lunar eclipse, on Friday, July 27, weather permitting. It will be visible from 9:30 p.m. and last till 11:20 p.m. This total lunar eclipse will be primarily visible from the world’s Eastern Hemisphere, which are Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand,” he said.
Ubachukwu said part of South America will be able to watch the final stages of the eclipse just after sunset on today, while New Zealand will catch the beginning stages of the eclipse before sunrise tomorrow.
“It will be the century’s longest lunar eclipse, with a whopping one hour and 43 minutes, in totality. It starts with a partial eclipse at 7:24 p.m. The total eclipse begins at 8:30 p.m. and ends at 10:13 p.m. The peak of the eclipse will occur at 9:22 p.m. The partial eclipse ends at 11:19 p.m,’’ he said.
The professor observed that a lunar eclipse could occur only on the night of a full moon. He said during a total lunar eclipse, the earth completely blocks direct sunlight from reaching the moon, while the only light reflected from the lunar surface would be refracted by earth’s atmosphere.
He said unlike solar eclipses, lunar eclipses are safe to view without any eye protection or special precautions as they appear dimmer than the full moon.
The scientist, however, said the next total lunar eclipse that would be visible in Nigeria would occur on January 21, 2019.
Regardless, the Director of Centre for Atmospheric Research in Kogi, Prof. Rabiu Babatunde, said has allayed fears about the lunar eclipse.
He said the event underscored the fact that planetary objects, including the earth, are in a state of defined continuous motion.
He urged scientists to continue monitoring and exploring the dynamics of the motion and the phenomena associated with them.
“Keeping tab on the dynamics will enable scientists sensitise the global community of any hazard associated with such occurrences,’’ he said.