Reddened by scattered daylight, the Moon within the heart is passing via the middle of Earth’s darkish umbral shadow on this July 27 lunar eclipse sequence. Left to proper the three pictures are from the beginning, most, and finish to 103 minutes of totality from the longest lunar eclipse of the 21st century. The longest path the Moon can comply with via Earth’s shadow does cross the shadow’s heart, that’s what makes such central lunar eclipses lengthy ones.
But July 27 was additionally the date of lunar apogee, and on the most distant a part of its elliptical orbit the Moon strikes slowest. For the earlier lunar eclipse, final January 31, the Moon was close to its orbital perigee. Passing simply south of the Earth shadow central axis, totality lasted solely 76 minutes. Coming up on January 21, 2019, a 3rd consecutive complete lunar eclipse can even be off heart and discover the Moon close to perigee. Then totality might be a mere 62 minutes lengthy.