File - This image made available by NASA shows the planet Mars. (NASA via AP)
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The longest "blood moon" eclipse this century will coincide with Mars' closest approach in 15 years to offer skygazers a thrilling astronomical double bill Friday, astronomers say. For about half the world, the moon will be partly or fully in Earth's shadow from 5:14 p.m. to 11:28 p.m. GMT – six hours and 14 minutes in all. The period of complete eclipse – known as "totality," when the moon appears darkest – will last from 7:30 p.m. to 9:13 p.m. GMT.At the same time, Mars will hover near the moon in the night sky, easily visible with the naked eye.The moon travels to a similar position every month, but the tilt of its orbit means it normally passes above or below the Earth's shadow – so most months we have a full moon without an eclipse.
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