Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Mumbai will witness last lunar eclipse of the year

The last lunar eclipse of the year, and also the second lunar eclipse of the year, will mostly elude star gazers on Wednesday. "Gazers will only be able to witness the last stage of the phenomenon as, for most of the time, the moon will be below the horizon," said Arvind Paranjpye, director of Nehru planetarium in Worli.
The eclipse will last a little less than seven hours as the moon enters the penumbral shadow of the Earth at 1:43pm. It will fully enter the earth's shadow by 3:54pm and the phenomenon will come to an end at 7:05pm. The lunar eclipse will be at it's peak at 4:24pm and will last until 4:54pm. The first lunar eclipse of the year had occurred on April 15.
The shadow of earth has two parts, the central dark part is called umbra and the lighter outer part is called penumbra.
The eclipse comes a day after the Sharad Purnima festival, held on October 7, according to the Hindu calendar. The Sharad Purnima or Kojaagari Purnima is a harvest festival celebrated on the full moon day of the Hindu lunar month of Ashvin (September–October). It also marks the end of monsoon. The weather officials in Mumbai are expected to declare the withdrawal of monsoon in the coming week, if the weather parameters fall in place.
While the full moon occurs every month, it passes slightly below or above the shadow of earth. When sun, earth and the full moon come in a straight line, a lunar eclipse occurs.