astronomy

Lunar Eclipse



Moon Eclipse


Eclipse Date Eclipse Type Eclipse Starting Time Eclipse Ending Time Duration
Note : Lunar eclipses occur when Earth's shadow blocks the sun's light, which otherwise reflects off the moon. There are three types of Lunar eclipse — total, partial and penumbral.




Lunar Eclipse


The mysteries of the universe do not fail to fascinate mankind. There are millions of theories and phenomenon which are still undiscovered. For thousands of years people have wondered about the strange happenings in the sky. The night sky is always a celestial showcase. Through careful observations and patient research they could uncover a lot of theories regarding the earth, moon and sun. We all know that the moon does not produce light; it reflects light from the sun off its silvery grey surface. We can only see that part of the moon that is facing the sun.
But sometimes, the Earth blocks the light from the sun reaching the moon. As the moon passes through the Earth’s shadow (umbra) parts of the Moon’s surface seem to vanish. When the Moon is completely in the shadow (umbra) the surface can just be seen as it is lit up by light refracted by the Earth’s atmosphere. This phenomenon, when the earth comes in between the sun and the moon leads to a spectacular event called the lunar eclipse.
Total lunar eclipse happens only when the sun, moon and earth are aligned exactly or closely with the Earth orbiting in the middle. Hence, a lunar eclipse occurs only on a full moon night. The duration and the type of eclipse (partial, total) depend upon the moon’s location. The dark, full shadow is called the umbra. The penumbra as the name suggests is the partial shadow on the outer side. The moon glides by these shadows in phases. The first and last phase — when the moon lies in the penumbral shadow — are hardly noticeable, so the actual eclipse can be seen later in the night, when the moon lies in the umbral shadow.
A total lunar eclipse is called a blood moon because of the red light refracted through the earth’s umbra. The sunlight passing through the earth’s atmosphere refracts in such a way that the green and violet lights scatter extensively compared to the red light. This results in the moon getting more of red light. A lunar eclipse lasts for a few hours and can be seen from any part of the world. As the light refracted is very dim, they do not need any protection to view them and can be viewed from the naked eye.
There are three types of lunar eclipses:
1. Penumbral lunar eclipse: these are very hard to observe. In this phenomenon the moon passes through the earth’s penumbral umbra.
2. Partial lunar eclipse: These are easy to observe through the naked eye. In this phenomenon, a small portion of the moon passes through earth’s umbra.
3. Total lunar eclipse: the moon gains a vibrant red color during this phase as the entire moon passes through earth’s umbral shadow.
There are several myths related to lunar eclipses with most of them considering them as bad omen. But in reality, it is just a part of astronomy. It occurs almost every year ranging from 0 to 3 times.