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Absolutely stunning! Gazers awestruck with 3-in-1 blue, blood & super moon

Moon-gazers gathered in planetariums in Delhi, Pune, Kolkata and elsewhere for a guided observation of the rare treat

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Supermoon,moon,lunar eclipse,blue moon,SPACE India,Nehru Planetarium,full Moon
The eclipsing blood moon appears in the sky, in Coimbatore on Wednesday. The rare spectacle today has been coined as 'Super Blue Blood Moon' by NASA on the lunar eclipse. Photo: PTI

The put up a striking celestial show tonight as a coppery red orb rose high up in the sky to mark a rare that drew enthusiasts to different planetariums across the country. The year's first total was partially visible from The second such eclipse on July 28 will be entirely visible from India, said Arvind Paranjpye, of the Nehru Planetarium, The outdid itself in donning three roles. After decades, moon-gazers saw a super moon, when it looks bigger and brighter than ever because it is closer to the earth, a blue moon, which is the second full in a calendar month, and a blood moon, a reference to the red colour of an eclipse. It was, as enthusiasts gushed, truly a once-in-a-blue- phenomenon, visible across several parts of the world. Moon-gazers gathered in planetariums in Delhi, Pune, Kolkata and elsewhere for a guided observation of the rare treat. In Delhi's Gate area, scores of students came together to have a look at the moon, which was initially, much to their disappointment, covered by clouds. But the clouds lifted, and soon the red was visible to the naked eye. Paranjpye said the Nehru in was visited by 2,500-3,000 people eager to know more about the celestial phenomena. "I am glad about the number of people who visited us considering the superstitions behind eclipses," he said. Among some communities, an eclipse is considered inauspicious. There will be five in 2018, out of which three will be partial solar -- on February 15, July 13 and August 11 -- but which will not visible from India, Paranjpye added. During a lunar eclipse, the shadow of earth can be seen travelling across the lunar disc.

There are three stages of a total - penumbral, umbral and totality. The is about 3.84 lakh km from the Earth. At this distance, the shadow of the earth has both umbra and penumbra. "During a total lunar eclipse, the first enters the penumbral shadow of earth. This shadow is very faint and, very often, the beginning of this phase of the eclipse is missed by a casual observer," Paranjpye said. The progress of the penumbral shadow becomes apparent when more than half of the is covered by it. "The umbral shadow of the earth on the is very distinct and its progress can be easily noticed. When the is entirely covered by the umbral shadow, it is a total After this, the comes out of the shadow of the earth in a reverse sequence," he added. During the total phase of a lunar eclipse, the appears red in colour, he pointed out. The total of December 10, 1992, was so dark that for a while the appeared to have vanished altogether and the sky was as dark as that on a new night, Paranjpye added.

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First Published: Thu, February 01 2018. 09:59 IST