New Delhi: A partial lunar eclipse is set to occur on Monday night and, if skies clear up of the monsoon clouds, it will be visible across the country.
The partial eclipse will begin at 10.55 p.m. on August 7 and will last for about two hours.
“The maximum eclipse can be seen at 11.51 p.m.,” said Science Popularisation Association of Communicators and Educators (SPACE) — New Delhi-based astronomy organisation — in a statement.
“For those who follow Hindu traditions, the eclipse has mythological and religious significance. But yes, it’s a celestial event, which can happen on any Full Moon whenever the Earth moves in between the Moon and the Sun,” said Mila Mitra, Scientific Officer at SPACE.
But, because of dark clouds, the eclipse would not be visible in the northern parts of India, particularly Delhi, SPACE said.
According to SPACE, a penumbral eclipse will begin at 9.22 p.m. on August 7 and end at 2.20 a.m. on August 8.
SPACE has organised a telescopic observation for the general public at Marina Beach, Chennai.
The total duration of the penumbral eclipse is five hours and one minute and that of the partial eclipse one hour and 55 minutes.
Observers in Africa, Asia and Australia will see the partial eclipse in its entirety.
The central part of the eclipse zone, where the Moon is at the meridian when the eclipse occurs, will be seen in Central Asia and India.
Lunar and Solar eclipses happen in pairs, with the lunar eclipse happening within two weeks of a solar eclipse.
The August 7 lunar eclipse is associated with the upcoming major August 21 solar eclipse.
A total penumbral eclipse is a lunar eclipse that occurs when the Moon becomes completely immersed in the penumbral cone of the Earth without touching the umbra.
It is a narrow path for the Moon to pass within the penumbra and outside the umbra. It can happen on the Earth’s northern or southern penumbral edges.
Partial lunar eclipse, on the other hand, is when the Earth moves in between the Moon and the Sun but the three do not line up exactly. Only part of the Moon comes under the Earth’s shadow, and looks darker.