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 lunar eclipse of the century about which we are going to discuss in detail.
WHEN AND HOW DOES LUNAR ECLIPSE OCCUR
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.
TYPES OF LUNAR ECLIPSE
There are three types of lunar eclipse –
- TOTAL LUNAR ECLIPSE According to NASA, a total lunar 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 eclipse 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 lunar 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. Then, 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 lunar 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.
PARTIAL LUNAR ECLIPSE (on November 19, 2021)
A partial lunar 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.
REGIONS WHICH ARE GOING TO WITNESS THIS LUNAR ECLIPSE
The regions where people are going to witness the partial lunar 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 lunar 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 lunar 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 lunar 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