New Delhi: This year will witness a rare celestial phenomenon that will occur after 580 years on the nights of 18-19 November when the Earth will come between the Sun and the Moon, but not in a perfect line. This partial lunar eclipse will be visible in all parts of the US and parts of Australia, East Asia and South America as well, as per the National Aeronautics and Science Administration (NASA).
The lunar eclipse will be visible from parts of Northeast India at 2.34 pm as 97 per cent of the moon will be covered by the Earth’s shadow. As a small part of the moon will get covered by the Earth’s shadow, we would be able to see a reddish Moon.
In India, the lunar eclipse will be visible from a few areas in Arunachal Pradesh and Assam. The penumbral eclipse will be visible from UP, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Odisha as well but the visibility from these places will not be for long.
The duration of the partial eclipse is 3hrs 28 minutes and 24 seconds, making it the longest eclipse of the 21st century and the longest in almost the last 600 years. The last time such a lengthy partial eclipse occurred was on February 18, 1440, and the next time a similar one will occur on February 8, 2669.
If you are in the northeast part of India, you can watch the eclipse using your naked eye. No special equipment or binoculars are needed. You can also watch the live stream of the eclipse on the YouTube channel of Lowell Observatory and timeanddate.com
The last time an eclipse this long happened was on February 18, 1440. The partial lunar eclipse will also be visible from North America, South America, Eastern Asia, Australia, and the Pacific Region.
The next total lunar eclipse will be on May 16, 2022, but it will not be visible from India. India will experience a total lunar eclipse on November 8, 2022.
Lunar eclipses occur when the moon passes into the Earth’s shadow. In this case, the partial eclipse phase will last 3 hours, 28 minutes and 24 seconds, and the full eclipse for 6 hours and 1 minute, making it the longest partial eclipse in 580 years, according to Indiana’s Holcomb Observatory, located on the campus of Butler University in the US.
Sky observers will get a view of a subtly changing moon, which may even take on a reddish hue. This will also be the last lunar eclipse of the year.
What is a lunar eclipse?
A lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth, Sun and Moon are in such an alignment that the Earth blocks the sun’s rays from reaching the moon. This leads to the moon being ‘eclipsed’ by the Earth’s shadow
There are three types of lunar eclipses- partial, total and penumbral eclipses. A partial eclipse means that the Earth’s shadow obscures the moon partly, while in a total lunar eclipse the celestial body is completely covered by the Earth. A penumbral lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon is in the Earth’s faint outer shadow or penumbra.
For the space enthusiasts and astronomers, the next lunar eclipse is scheduled to take place on May 16 next year.