New Delhi, July 16: Stargazers will witness the partial lunar eclipse here on the intervening night of July 16 and 17.
The celestial phenomenon will be visible entirely from all parts of the country, besides parts of South America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia. The Moon will remain partially eclipsed till 4:29 am on Wednesday.
So it is a golden opportunity for the sky enthusiasts in the country as the eclipse will be visible almost throughout the night.
When will Partial Lunar Eclipse take place
Partial Lunar Eclipse or Chandra Grahan takes place only at full Moon night, when it, the Sun and the Earth are in a perfect straight line. As the Sun's rays fall on the Earth, its shadow falls on to a patch of space.
When the Moon enters the patch of shadow there is lunar eclipse. The patch of shadow is actually composed of two cone-shaped parts - one nestled inside the other. The outer shadow or penumbra is a zone where the Earth shadow is partial and blocks some, but not all of the Sun's rays.
In contrast, the inner shadow or umbra is a region where the Earth blocks all direct sunlight from reaching the Moon. When only a part of the Moon passes through the umbra, a partial lunar eclipse is seen.
If the entire Moon passes through the umbral shadow, then a total eclipse of the Moon occurs.
Partial lunar eclipse date, time
As mentioned above, the partial lunar eclipse will be visible in the majority of Asian nations, including India. The people living in the western and central region of India will witness the entire event, while those living in the eastern regions will get to see the partial lunar eclipse at moonset time in the wee hours.
The Moon will enter the penumbra on July 17 at 12:13am IST and will enter the umbra region at 1:31am IST. The intensity of the partial lunar eclipse will be highest (the time at which at the largest chunk of moon will be covered by Earth's shadow and thus, will appear dark) at 3:00am IST.
The Moon will leave the umbra region at 4:29am IST, which also marks the end of the partial lunar eclipse. The Moon will exit the penumbra region at 5:47am IST, as per NASA's data. The total eclipse duration will be 2 hours, 57 minutes and 56 seconds.
On Tuesday night, only a part of the Moon will pass the Earth's shadow. Around 3:01 am on Wednesday, 65 per cent of the Moon's diameter will be under the shadow of the Earth.
The only partial eclipse happening this year is a little special as it marks a coincidence happening after 149 years. The Guru Purnima celebrated in India will happen on the same day as the upcoming partial lunar eclipse for the first time after a span of 149 years. Thus has special religious significance.
The importance of this rare occurrence
As per Hindu tradition, it is not considered auspicious to perform any puja on the day of the lunar eclipse. In case you were planning to perform Guru Purnima Puja, you are advised to do it before 2 pm.
Partial Lunar Eclipse: How to watch
- The phenomenon can be observed with the naked eye.
- Binoculars or a telescope will enhance the viewing experience.
- You can safely eat and drink during this phenomenon.
- In urban areas, get away from the city lights and focus on the moon.
- India will witness the next lunar eclipse on May 26, 2021, when it will be a total one, he added.