When is the next lunar eclipse and tetrad set to occur in Nigeria?


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When is the next lunar eclipse and tetrad set to occur in Nigeria?
Posted on: December 20, 2017, 04:30:46 PM
When it comes to eclipses whether solar or lunar, many Nigerians are trilled and feel blessed to withness this natural phenomenom.

Detecting when these kinds of 'once in a lifetime' phenomenom is set to occur had for decades been a problem for the african country's populace but with the advent of modern science and techniques these occurences can be easily forcasted.

Follow me into space to learn more about the blood moon in Nigeria.

'Blood moon' - the total lunar eclipse and tetrads

The term ‘blood moon’ is not a scientific term or expression, it is just a term used by regular people to describe a total lunar eclipse, of which the moon becomes blood red.

During a total lunar eclipse, Earth blocks the sunlight from reaching the moon surface and casts its shadow upon the Moon. A simple total lunar eclipse can most of the time be described as a blood moon by people.

‘Blood moon’ could also describe such phenomenon as a lunar tetrad. A lunar tetrad is a rare occurrence of four total lunar eclipses that happen in the span of two years. This is very uncommon, as there might not be any lunar tetrads for decades or even centuries.

Because of its rareness, some saw this occurrence as a sign from the gods (or God). Many people (especially Christians and Jews) believed that the blood moon that coincided with Jewish celebrations signified the end of days. However, there have been eight such instances, and yet, the world has not ended.

According to scientists, one can actually experience lunar eclipse while being on the Moon. Although, if you are on the moon surface, you will see the Earth engulfed in darkness, as it will obstruct the view of the Sun.

Worthy of note is that eclipses will change in a few million years. Scientist say as the moon slowly moves away from us (really slowly, 4 cm a year), Earth’s shadow on the Moon’s surface will look different than what we are now used to.

Why does the moon looks red during the eclipse?

When the sunrays go through the atmosphere of the Earth, some colours are removed by Rayleigh scattering, a phenomenon responsible for making sunsets and sunrises look red.

Red wavelengths are the most resilient to this effect, which is why the Moon appears red. As a matter of fact, not every lunar eclipse is as red as blood. In order to determine the colour of the moon, scientists invented a special colour scale called Danjon Scale. Zero on this scale stands for dark eclipse, when you can barely see the Moon. The highest number in the scale is four, which represents the most vibrant copper-red eclipse.  

Next total lunar eclipse in Nigeria

The nearest total lunar eclipse in Nigeria is not all that far. According to NASA, Nigerians will be able to see the blood moon on the night between July 27 and 28, 2018.

The body gave a detailed timetable for this:

The first two events, the penumbral eclipse (a passing of the faint Earth shadow over the moon) and the moonrise will be happening below the horizon, so you will not be able to see them directly.

The first phase will happen at 18:14, and the next will follow at 18:58.

The real show starts at 19:24. This time signifies the beginning of the partial eclipse, when the moon just begins to get red.

As the moon would be very close to the horizon, make sure you have a clear line of view to the East-southeast.

At 20:30, the moon will be completely red, which will signify the start of total eclipse.

At 21:21, total eclipse will be at its maximum capacity. The moon will be closest to the middle of the shadow.

At 22:13, total eclipse will be over. However, if you want to stick around for a little longer, you can also witness the end of partial eclipse at 23:19 and the end of penumbral eclipse at 00:28, July 28.

When is the next lunar tetrad in Nigeria?

If by ‘blood moon’ you mean the lunar tetrad,  you will have to wait for quite a little gap of years. If you missed this occurrence in 2014/2015, then you would get your next chance no sooner than 2032-2033.

Don't be dishearted though, as some of our ancestors had to wait for centuries for such a miracle.

Now if your friends ask you ‘when is the next lunar eclipse or tetrad in Nigeria?’, you sure have an answer!

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