A rare total lunar eclipse will occur Wednesday night in Israel's skies from a little after 8:00 p.m. local time until 2:00 a.m. early Thursday morning. Not only is this lunar blackout going to be one of the longest possible, but the astronomy blogger, Ira Machefsky, also known as the 'Starman of Mitzpe Ramon' told the Jerusalem Post additional surprises may be in store.

This particular lunar eclipse was already set to be prime viewing for Israeli astronomy fanatics. Machefsky, who has 40 years of astronomy experience, said that the length of time the moon will be in the earth's umbral (or total) shadow is going to be exceedingly long, clocking in at 100 minutes.

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The partial eclipse is set to begin on Wednesday at 8:22 p.m. local time, but the climax will occur when the full ecplise occurs between 10:22 p.m. and 12:02 a.m. Thursday morning. As the moon leaves the earth's shadow, a partial eclipse will follow until around 2:00 a.m.

The moon, according to Machefsky, will travel through the longest possible path of earth's shadow, crossing its diameter in near entirety. That diameter, 6,200 miles wide, is three times the moon's diameter, at 2,100 miles, making for an extended experience.

Machefsky explained that 100 minutes is pretty much about how long a lunar eclipse can actually be, with the longest at around 102 minutes.

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