Partial lunar Eclipse – 7th/8th August

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“Moon under the curtain of shadow”

The night sky never fails to amaze, especially when there are celestial events of interest! One such event is coming up on 7th /8th August when a partial lunar eclipse will be observable from all across India.

Lunar eclipses occur when Earth’s shadow blocks the sun’s light, which otherwise reflects off the moon. There are three types — total, partial and penumbral — with the most dramatic being a total lunar eclipse, in which Earth’s shadow completely covers the moon.

Because the moon’s orbit around Earth lies in a slightly different plane than Earth’s orbit around the sun, perfect alignment for an eclipse doesn’t occur at every full moon. A total lunar eclipse develops over time, typically a couple hours for the whole event. Here’s how it works: Earth casts two shadows that fall on the moon during a lunar eclipse: The umbra is a full, dark shadow. The penumbra is a partial outer shadow. The moon passes through these shadows in stages. The initial and final stages — when the moon is in the penumbral shadow — are not so noticeable, so the best part of an eclipse is during the middle of the event, when the moon is in the umbral shadow.

This Partial Lunar Eclipse will be visible throughout India.

The Penumbral eclipse will begin at 21:22 IST on 07th August and it will end at 02:20 IST on 8th August 2017. The Partial Eclipse will begin at 22:55 IST on 07th August 2017 and will end at 00:47 IST on 08th August 2017. The maximum eclipse can be seen at 23:51 on 07th August 2017.

The total duration of the eclipse is 5 hours, 1 minute. The duration of the partial eclipse is 1 hour, 55 minutes.

Lunar and solar eclipses happen in pairs, with the lunar eclipse happening within two weeks of a solar eclipse. The Aug. 7 lunar is actually associated with the upcoming big Aug. 21 solar eclipse.

Lunar eclipses are easier to see than solar eclipses because they are visible from anywhere on Earth with only the conditions that the eclipse occurs at nighttime and the moon has risen and is visible. And because the Earth’s shadow is considerably larger than the moon as seen from Earth, the eclipses last longer. 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 in central Asia and India.

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Find a map attached below regarding the stages and visibility of the lunar eclipse.

Map courtesy: HM Nautical Almanac Office

By: Mukul Kumar Yadav
Educator|SPACE

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