GUWAHATI, July 26 - Two significant celestial events are due on the nights of July 27 and 28, 2018 � a total lunar eclipse and �opposition� of planet Mars.
The total lunar eclipse will be visible from Assam and the rest of the North East, along with other parts of the country and major parts of the globe, Babul Chandra Bora, Curator of the Guwahati Planetarium here, said in a statement.
The partial eclipse of the Moon will begin at 11.54 pm of July 27 and the total eclipse will begin at 1 am of July 28. The total eclipse will continue till 2.43 am. The duration of the total eclipse will be 1 hour and 43 minutes and it will be the longest total lunar eclipse of the current century.
The copper-red eclipsed Moon will pair up with the Red Planet in its �opposition�, in which the Sun and Mars will lie opposite each other, with Earth standing in between.
This year, Mars will come quite close to Earth, making it appear brighter than normal. The Red Planet will remain very close to the eclipsed Moon in the sky on July 27 and 28 and can be spotted easily with the naked eye.
This year is particularly a good one for viewing Mars as it will be making its closest approach to Earth in a 15-year period on July 31, as, both the planets will be separated by about 57 million kilometres, said Bora.
The Guwahati Planetarium and the Pragjyotish Amateur Astronomers� Association will jointly arrange a popular talk on July 27 at 5.30 pm at the conference hall of the Guwahati Planetarium. This will be followed by a sky observation programme. This programme, scheduled for 6.30 pm and 7.30 pm in the evening, will continue till August 10, said Bora.