Nigeria will tonight encounter an astounding aggregate lunar overshadowing, which will keep going for 60 minutes, a teacher, Augustine Ubachukwu, has said.
Mr Ubachukwu, the pioneer of Astronomy and Astrophysics Research Group of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, revealed this on Thursday in a meeting with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja.
"Nigeria is set to encounter an exceptionally marvelous aggregate lunar overshadowing on Friday, July 27, climate allowing. It will be obvious from 9:30.p.m. what's more, last till 11:22 p.m.
"This aggregate lunar shroud will be fundamentally unmistakable from the world's Eastern Hemisphere, which are Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
"Some portion of South America will have the capacity to watch the last phases of the overshadowing soon after dusk on July 27. New Zealand will get the starting phases of the obscuration before dawn on July 28.
“It will be the century’s longest total 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.
Mr Ubachukwu observed that a lunar eclipse could occur only on the night of a full moon.
The scientist 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.
According to him, 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 professor, however, said that the next total lunar eclipse that would be visible in Nigeria would occur on January 21, 2019.
Another professor, Rabiu Babatunde, the Director, Centre for Atmospheric Research in Kogi told NAN that people should not be perturbed at the occurrence.
Mr Babatunde said that the event underscored the fact that planetary objects, including the earth were in a state of defined continuous motion.
He said that the occurrence necessitated the need for 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.