About Lunar Eclipse:
A partial lunar eclipse is coming this month. The eclipse will take place on November 19, 2021 and at some places it will occur on November 18, 2021. It occurs when the moon slips into Earth’s shadow and this is going to last for 3 hours, 28 minutes and 24 seconds. According to NASA , the late November moon is also known as “Frost Moon”.
It was reported that in 2018, the longest Lunar eclipse occurred for 1 hour, 42 minutes and 57 seconds. So this year we are going to witness the longest eclipse of the century about which we are going to discuss in detail.
A lunar eclipse also known as Chandra grahan in Hindi occurs when the moon moves into the earth’s orbit. This occurs only when the sun, moon and the earth are very close to each other in syzgy, in ancient Greek astronomy, this means “a roughly straight line configuration of three or more celestial bodies in gravitational system ” with earth revolves around both the sun and the moon where earth is between both of them. The Lunar eclipse occurs only on the night of the full moon.
A eclipse occurs when the Earth, Sun, and Moon align in a straight or nearly straight line in space, with the Earth positioned between the Sun and the Moon.
This alignment causes the Earth’s shadow to be cast upon the Moon, leading to a lunar eclipse. There are two key components of Earth’s shadow that affect lunar eclipses: the penumbra and the umbra.
Lunar eclipses can only happen during a full moon when the Sun, Earth, and Moon are aligned as described above. However, not every full moon leads to a lunar because the orbits of the Moon around the Earth and the Earth around the Sun are slightly tilted relative to each other. Lunar eclipses occur a few times a year, but they are not visible from all parts of the Earth.
The timing and visibility of a lunar depend on your geographic location. Astronomical predictions and tools, such as planetarium software, websites, and apps, can provide specific information about upcoming lunar eclipses visible from your area.
These tools can tell you the date, time, duration, and type of eclipse that will occur in your region, allowing you to plan your observation accordingly. Remember that lunar eclipses are safe to observe with the naked eye, unlike solar eclipses, which require special eye protection.
TYPES OF LUNAR ECLIPSE
There are three types of lunar eclipse –
- TOTAL LUNAR ECLIPSE According to NASA, a total eclipse occurs only when the moon and the sun are on the exact opposite side of the earth. Although the moon is in Earth’s shadow and some sunlight reaches the moon.
- The sunlight passes through Earth’s atmosphere which filters out most of the blue light which makes the moon appear red to people.
- PARTIAL LUNAR ECLIPSE – Partial Lunar is an eclipse in which the moon is not completely immersed in the umbra on earth’s shadow. The penumbra is a partial outer shadow and the moon passes through these shadows in stages.
- When the moon is in penumbral shadow, the eclipse is not noticable, but when it is in umbral shadow the changes in colour are visible. From earth people perceive that during Partial lunar eclipse, how the sun , earth and moon align.
- PENUMBRAL LUNAR ECLIPSE – This is the least interesting type of the eclipse because the moon is in earth’s faint outer shadow. Unless you are a seasoned sky watcher, you would notice the effect in which the moon is subtly shaded by earth’s shadow.
HOW DOES PARTIAL ECLIPSE OCCUR
A partial eclipse is basically three eclipses in one which happens in five stages. This event starts when the full moon enters the earth’s outer shadow which is known as penumbra.
it begins to enter the inner shadow which is umbra, with its entrance in umbra it begins to turn red. Once the whole moon is inside the umbra, the moon turns 97.4% red. The entire event then goes into reverse, with the moon exiting the umbra, then the penumbra.
In the past, an eclipse has always astonished and caused fear in people. When a total eclipse turned the moon blood red, that effect terrorized people for years who have no understanding of what are the causes of an eclipse.
I still remember, when I was a child people used to blame the effects of the eclipse on god and others.
A partial lunar eclipse, like other lunar eclipses, occurs due to the alignment of the Earth, Sun, and Moon. Here’s a step-by-step explanation of how a partial eclipse is formed:
Full Moon: An eclipse can only happen during a full moon when the Sun, Earth, and Moon are aligned in a straight line or close to it. During a full moon, the Earth is directly between the Sun and the Moon.
Earth’s Shadow: The Earth casts two types of shadows in space: the penumbra, which is the outer part of the shadow, and the umbra, which is the inner, darker part of the shadow. For a eclipse to occur, the Moon must pass through one or both of these shadows.
Partial Lunar Eclipse: In the case of a partial lunar eclipse, the Moon enters only a portion of the Earth’s umbra. It doesn’t move completely into the darkest part of Earth’s shadow. Instead, it enters a region where only a part of the Moon is obscured, leading to a partial eclipse. The rest of the Moon remains outside the umbra and is fully illuminated by the Sun, causing the partial eclipse effect.
The extent of the partial eclipse (how much of the Moon is covered) depends on the Moon’s position relative to the Earth’s umbra during the eclipse. This alignment can vary, leading to different degrees of partial eclipse during different lunar eclipses.
As the Earth and Moon continue their orbits, the eclipse eventually ends, and the Moon moves out of Earth’s shadow, returning to its full brightness.
The entire process of a partial eclipse can last several hours, from the initial entry of the Moon into Earth’s shadow to its complete exit.
PARTIAL LUNAR ECLIPSE (on November 19, 2021)
A partial eclipse darkened the moon around the world on November 19, 2021 and overnight on November 18, 2021 for North America. Most locations will see upto 97% of the moon would slip into earth’s shadow.
In this case the eclipse is going to last for 3 hours, 28 minutes and 24 seconds. According to Holocomb’s observatory, this is going to be the largest partial eclipse in 580 years.
With this one question arises, why is this eclipse going to be the longest?
So here is the answer, this is because the ” Beaver moon” is going to be the smallest full moon of the year because the moon will be slightly further away than on average.
The moon has an elliptical orbit that sees it reach a close point known as perigee or supermoon and a far point is known as an apogee each month.
This moon features apogee moon at great extent which is barely 1.7 days after the eclipse. Since the part which is far away from the earth’s shadow is larger, so it will take more time to travel through it, therefore this eclipse is going to be in an unexpected deep red colour.
A partial eclipse occurs when only a portion of the Moon enters Earth’s umbral shadow during a full moon. In this scenario, a part of the Moon is darkened by Earth’s shadow, creating a partial eclipse.
During a partial lunar eclipse, the Earth, Sun, and Moon are not perfectly aligned in a straight line. Instead, the Moon passes through only a part of Earth’s umbral shadow, leading to a partial dimming of the lunar surface.
Unlike a total eclipse where the Moon is completely covered by Earth’s umbral shadow, in a partial lunar eclipse, a segment of the Moon appears darker than the rest.
Partial lunar eclipses are fascinating celestial events and can display various shades of color, ranging from light gray to deep red, depending on the Earth’s atmosphere at the time of the eclipse. The exact appearance of the Moon during a partial lunar eclipse can vary widely based on atmospheric conditions on Earth.
As with other lunar eclipses, partial lunar eclipses occur only during a full moon when the Earth is positioned between the Sun and the Moon.
However, not every full moon results in a eclipse because the orbits of the Earth and the Moon are slightly tilted relative to each other, causing the alignment to occur only occasionally.
To observe a partial lunar eclipse, you do not need any special equipment. It is safe to watch the event with the naked eye.
The visibility of a partial eclipse depends on your geographic location and the specific geometry of the eclipse. Astronomical websites, apps, and observatories provide detailed information about upcoming partial lunar eclipses visible from different regions of the world.
REGIONS WHICH ARE GOING TO WITNESS THIS LUNAR ECLIPSE
The regions where people are going to witness the partial eclipse on November 19, 2021 are:
- NORTH AMERICA
- SOUTH AMERICA
- NORTH WEST AFRICA
- PACIFIC, ATLANTIC, INDIAN, ARCTIC OCEAN
WHEN CAN WE SEE THE ECLIPSE?
Lunar eclipse can be seen in a clear night sky from everywhere. From some places the entire eclipse can be seen while in some places the moon will rise or set during the eclipse.
The global schedule according to the eclipse expert Fred Espenak:
- PENUMBRAL LUNAR ECLIPSE : November 19 , 06:02:09, UTC Time, time in Delhi, 11:32:09. It will not be visible in Delhi as it will be below the horizon . It will last for 76 minutes when the full moon drops in brightness.
- PARTIAL LUNAR ECLIPSE: November 19, 07:18:42, UTC time, time in Delhi, 12:48:42 . And again this also would not be visible in Delhi as it will be below the horizon.It will last for 104 minutes when the full moon begins to turn reddish.
- MAXIMUM OR GREATEST ECLIPSE: November 19, 09:02:55, UTC time, time in Delhi,14:32:55. It will not be visible in Delhi as here also it will be below the horizon. Here,the moon would turn 97.4%. Red, also known as “Blood Moon”.
- PARTIAL ECLIPSE ENDS: November 19, 10:47:04, UTC time 10:47:04, time in Delhi 16:17:04. Again it will not be visible in Delhi as it is below the horizon. It will last for 105 minutes , here the full moon begins to turn grey. It is the time when the earth’ s shadow is moving across the moon’s surface.
- PENUMBRAL LUNAR ECLIPSE ENDS: November 19,12:03:40 , UTC time, time in Delhi 17:33:40. This eclipse would be visible in Delhi. It will last for 76 minutes where the moon remains muted in brightness.
So this is how the eclipse is going to be 3 hours, 28 minutes and 24 seconds.
MEASURES TO BE TAKEN WHILE WATCHING LUNAR ECLIPSE
Well, there are no such measures that should be taken while watching lunar eclipse, because eclipse is completely safe to watch and can be seen with bare eyes. Solar eclipse is dangerous to watch with bare eyes as it can harm our eyes with its rays and many safety precautions are to be taken while watching solar eclipse.
As in the case of a lunar eclipse, the moon does not generate any harmful rays which are dangerous for eyes. No equipment such as telescope, binoculars are needed. Only those who want to see the craters of the moon.
IN THE END…..
This year we are going to witness a partial eclipse which is also known as Chandra grahan in Hindi on November 19, 2021 and in some regions on November 18, 2021. This eclipse is going to last for 3 hours, 28 minutes and 24 seconds, which is going to be the longest lunar eclipse of the century.
The previous partial Lunar eclipse occurred in 2018 which was 1 hour 42 minutes and 57 seconds. The next lunar eclipse will occur on May 16, 2022, when a 100% reddish “blood moon” will be visible for 84 minutes in North America which would be a total lunar eclipse.
As it is already discussed in the above section that no safety measures or precautions or even no equipment are required to watch the lunar eclipse. So are you ready to witness the longest partial lunar eclipse of the century? I am very excited to watch this, are you?
-by Aayushi Dhasmana
November 14, 2021