Rains, overcast sky mar lunar eclipse viewing

The penumbral part of the lunar eclipse, which is difficult to discern, began at 9:20 pm.

Heavy rains and overcast sky prevented Delhiites from viewing the lunar eclipse on August 7. Several parts of the national capital experienced heavy rains and cloudy sky.

The Nehru Planetarium here had decided to set up telescopes to help visitors observe the moon before the eclipse and the partial phases of the eclipse at the Teen Murti lawns. But the plan had to be put off due to bad weather.

“Viewing the eclipse is difficult in current situation. If the weather clears up then our staff will set up the telescopes,” N Rathnashree, director of the Nehru Planetarium, said.

The penumbral part of the lunar eclipse, which is difficult to discern, began at 9:20 pm, while the partial phase would start at 10:52 pm, she said. The partial eclipse will end at 12:48 am, while the penumbral eclipse will end at 2:20 am on August 8.

A penumbral lunar eclipse occurs when the sun, the earth, and the moon align in an almost straight line.

In this scenario, the earth blocks some of the sun’s light from directly reaching the moon’s surface and covers all or part of the moon with the outer part of its shadow, also known as the penumbra. “An interesting aspect of lunar eclipse is that anywhere on earth from where the moon is visible during eclipse, the time will be the same. This is in contrast to a solar eclipse in which the timings of the contacts change as the location changes on earth,” Rathnashree said.

Also, the US and Canada can view the total solar eclipse on August 21, but cannot see the lunar eclipse. However, parts of Africa and Asia, including India, will miss the total solar eclipse.

( Source : PTI )
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