Rare astronomical feast this month

Everyone might have witnessed a regular lunar eclipse at some point in their lives. But this January, moon gazers can enjoy a total lunar eclipse, a unique and mesmerizing sight.

Published: 23rd January 2018 11:29 PM  |   Last Updated: 24th January 2018 07:45 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Everyone might have witnessed a regular lunar eclipse at some point in their lives. But this January, moon gazers can enjoy a total lunar eclipse, a unique and mesmerizing sight. On that day, one can experience seeing a supermoon, blood moon and a blue moon total lunar eclipse. In just a month, we have witnessed the biggest moon, followed by two full moons.

The eclipse will be visible in the region covering the Middle East, Asia, Indonesia, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, North and South America, Northeast Africa, Antarctica, the Pacific Ocean and Hawaii. The eclipse is visible from all parts of India. This is happening after 150 years, dating back to March 31, 1866.
The duration of the lunar eclipse will be three hours, 18 minutes.

Following the first contact, the Moon’s more easterly limb will show a growing dark ‘nick’ as it begins to enter the umbra more deeply. At a total lunar eclipse, Moon takes about an hour to become completely immersed in the umbra. The curved edge of the umbra may show a slight blue fringe. Refraction of sunlight — particularly at the red end of the spectrum — through the Earth’s atmosphere means that the umbra is not completely dark.

Consequently, the Moon does not usually disappear from view, instead, it is dimmed and often takes on a reddish colour. After this year, the next time that a Blue Moon passes through Earth’s umbra will be on December 31, 2028, and, after that, on January 31, 2037. Both of these eclipses will be total too.

Important timings

Eclipse Begins 17:18 (5.18 pm)
Visibility of Full Moon 18:21 (6.21 pm)
Total Eclipse begins 18:21 (6.21 pm)
Maximum Phase of the Eclipse 18:59 (6:59 pm)
Total Eclipse Ends 19:37 (7:37 pm)
Partial Eclipse Ends 20:41 (8:41 pm)
Moon Enters Penumbra 16:21 (4:21 pm)
Moon Leaves Penumbra 21:38 (9:38 pm)

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