WATCH LIVE: Skywatchers looking forward to complete lunar eclipse

Total Lunar Eclipse_1532706546987

A nearly total lunar eclipse is seen as the full moon is shadowed by the Earth on the arrival of the winter solstice, Tuesday, December 21, 2010 in Arlington, VA. From beginning to end, the eclipse will last about three hours and twenty-eight minutes. Photo Credit: (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP/WAVY) – Skywatchers around much of the world are looking forward to a complete lunar eclipse that will be the longest this century.

The so-called “blood moon” Friday, when it turns a deep red, will be visible at different times in Australia, Africa, Asia, Europe and South America when the sun, Earth and moon line up perfectly, casting Earth’s shadow on the moon.

The total eclipse will last 1 hour and 43 minutes, with the entire event lasting closer to four hours.

In a special treat, Mars is in opposition on Friday – meaning the planet and the sun will be on exact opposite sides of the Earth and will shine its best. Mars is also at its closest approach to Earth this week since 2003, making it appear bigger and brighter.

If you’re unable to make it to any of the locations listed above to see the eclipse in person, NBC News is providing a livestream — as part of a digital special hosted by Simone Boyce called “Space Is Awesome.” It starts at 4 p.m. ET.

NASA TV is also providing live views of the lunar eclipse, which you can see here.

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