Friday night, the Moon found itself in the shadow cone projected by the Earth. Around the world in pictures.
The longest total lunar eclipse of the 21st century made our satellite blush on Friday, dazzling audiences around the world, while the planet Mars, almost as close to Earth as possible, was full of brilliance. For the lucky ones only, because in Europe and India in particular, the clouds have ruined the show.
Deprived of the rays of the Sun, the moon has darkened and taken on a brick tinge as the earth's atmosphere deflects the red rays of sunlight into the shadow cone. The moon could then send them back.
For a lunar eclipse to occur, there must be an almost perfect alignment of the Sun, the Earth, and the Moon. Our planet, lying between our star and the Moon, then projects its shadow on its natural satellite.
The eclipse, which corresponds to the moment when the Moon plunges into the shadow of the Earth, has been visible, partially or totally, in one half of the world (notably the eastern hemisphere).
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It could be observed, depending on weather conditions, from Africa, Europe, Asia and Australia.
The complete phenomenon (including darkness, imperceptible to the naked eye) began at 17:14 GMT and ended at 23:28 GMT. But the real show started at 18:24 GMT. The most interesting moment of the eclipse, when the Moon was completely in the shadow cone projected by the Earth, took place at 19:30 GMT and ended at 21:13 GMT. This phase of "totality" lasted 1 hour 43 minutes (103 minutes), the longest lunar eclipse of the 21st century.
"It's so interesting to see how red the moon is, as if it's covered with blood," exclaimed Marion Rotich, a mother who is observing the phenomenon. his two daughters in Naivasha, southern Kenya.
Near Lake Magadi, an isolated region far from the light pollution of cities 100 km southwest of Nairobi, a couple, Susan Murabana and Daniel Chu Owen, had set up their telescope so that the inhabitants of the neighborhood could admire the l 'eclipse.
"We had already done this at the opportunity for the solar eclipse in 2016, "said Susan Murabana. Some 300 members of the local community, mostly Masai, had come to use their telescopes. "It's good to give such an opportunity to people like these."
At the same time in Tunis, more than 2000 people had gathered at the Capital City of Science to admire the eclipse. Amazed by the color change of the satellite, men, women and especially children with binoculars waited their turn to look at the moon through the telescopes. Others were filming, portable by hand.
In Berlin, people gathered on the Drachenberg, a hill that rises to a hundred meters west of Berlin. "For people who live today, it's a unique event," commented Sven Melchert, director of Heppenheim's Friends of the Stars Association in western Germany, quoted by DPA news agency.
The monsoon rains of thick clouds hid the moon in much of India and its neighbors, which should have had an unobstructed view. Even disappointment in a good part of Europe where thick clouds disturbed the lunar spectacle.
North of London, on the terrace from the Alexandra Palace, hundreds of people have been frustrated by the clouds obscuring any view of the sky. With a very British humor, they consoled themselves by singing "Total eclipse of the heart", the global hit of local singer Bonnie Tyler, released in 1983.
Those who gathered in Rio de Janeiro were luckier, grabbing the red moon in the clear night sky with their camera. "I found it very pretty and I liked Mars more than we could see right next to the moon," said 34-year-old Talita Oliveira.
The other star of the night was indeed Mars, which is only 57.6 million kilometers from the Earth. With the naked eye, we can see a bright spot while with a telescope or a telescope, it is possible to observe it in the details. This was the second total lunar eclipse of 2018, the first having taken place on January 31st.