Longest-ever lunar eclipse of the century
Thiruvananthapuram: Friday's being the longest total lunar eclipse of the century, many might be wanting to view it through the telescope of Kerala State Science and Technology Museum (KSSTM), but they don't have to, advises KSSTM Director Arul Jerald Prakash. "You can view it with your naked eye. Through a telescope, you will be able to see only portions of it. It would be better to sip your glass of tea, and watch it from your terrace," he says.
Still, if someone wishes to, they can come to KSSTM by 11:30 The event will last for 103 minutes, in which the penumbral shadow (dull shadow) starts becoming visible at 11:54 pm on Friday. At 1 am, the umbral shadow (dark shadow) will appear. At 1:51, the eclipse would reach its darkest hour. The total eclipse ends at 2:45 am, and the partial eclipse at 3:45 am. There was a longer eclipse in 2000, which lasted 106 minutes, but that was in the 20th century.
There have been many instances where over a thousand would throng the KSSTM campus, despite the event happening in the wee hours. In such cases, usually KSSTM issues tokens. The ones who don't get the tokens will have to go home. This time, though, since the event itself is very long, everyone will get a chance, says telescope operator Sumesh S. He and scientific officer S S Shyam will be spending the night at KSSTM during the eclipse.