Business Standard

Get ready for longest partial lunar eclipse of century next week

Skygazers are in for a treat as the longest partial lunar eclipse of the century is going to take place on November 19. It is also the longest such eclipse in nearly 600 years.

lunar eclipse | moon

IANS  |  Washington 

lunar eclipse
A lunar eclipse occurs when Earth places itself between the Sun and the moon. Photo: Shutterstock

Skygazers are in for a treat as the longest partial of the century is going to take place on November 19. It is also the longest such eclipse in nearly 600 years.

Lunar eclipses occur when the passes into the Earth's shadow. In this case, the partial eclipse phase will last 3 hours, 28 minutes and 24 seconds, and the full eclipse for 6 hours and 1 minute, making it the longest partial eclipse in 580 years, according to Indiana's Holcomb Observatory, located on the campus of Butler University in the US.

"Longest partial eclipse of the century to occur in the pre-dawn hours of November 19th. This will also be the longest partial in 580 years!" the observatory tweeted.

Sky observers will get a view of a subtly changing moon, which may even take on a reddish hue. This will also be the last of the year.

According to NASA, the event will begin at approximately 2.19 a.m. EST (12.49 p.m. India time) on Nov 19.

The US space agency said that the eclipse will take place in four main phases -- at 1.02 a.m. EST the will enter the penumbra, or the lighter part of the moon's shadow. This phase is usually hard to spot without special equipment because the darkening is so slight.

The will then arrive at the umbra, or the darker part of the shadow, at 2.18 a.m. EST. For about 3.5 hours the moon will pass through the deep shadow until it exits the umbra at 5.47 a.m. The eclipse will end at 6.03 a.m. EST.

The maximum eclipse will take place at 4.03 AM EST, when 97 per cent of the moon's face covered by the deepest part of the Earth's shadow will probably turn a deep red, the observatory said.

November's full moon is traditionally known as the Beaver Moon, as beavers are preparing for winter, hence this month's event's Beaver Moon eclipse moniker.

At least part of the eclipse will be visible in North and South America, Eastern Asia, Australia, and the Pacific Region, NASA said.

For US East Coast observers, the partial eclipse begins a little after 2 a.m., reaching its maximum at 4 in the morning. For observers on the West Coast, that translates to beginning just after 11 p.m., with a maximum at 1 a.m.

"Partial lunar eclipses might not be quite as spectacular as total lunar eclipses -- where the moon is completely covered in Earth's shadow -- but they occur more frequently. And that just means more opportunities to witness little changes in our solar system that sometimes occur right before our eyes," NASA said.



(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Fri, November 12 2021. 19:22 IST