16 Jul 2019
Partial Lunar Eclipse: When, where and how to watch it
If you are someone who likes to keep a lookout for interesting occurrences in the night sky, you would be delighted to learn that on July 16 and 17, various parts of the world will witness a partial lunar eclipse, including India.
In India, the celestial event will be visible on July 17 in the wee hours.
Here are more details.
Here are the timings for the partial lunar eclipse
As per Indian Standard Time, the moon will enter the penumbra (area of partial shadow) at 12:13 am on July 17 and enter the umbra (complete shadow) at 1:31 am, according to NASA.
The moon will exit the umbra at 4:29 am IST and leave the penumbra region at 5:47 am IST.
The eclipse will be most intense at 3:00 am IST.
Which regions will be able to see the eclipse?
In India, the entire partial lunar eclipse will be visible from western and central India, while other regions can witness the event around moonset.
Outside of India, the eclipse would be visible in the majority of Asia, Africa, Australia, Europe, and South America, as per the eclipse map released by NASA.
However, the event will not be visible from North America and Greenland.
What's the difference between a partial and total lunar eclipse?
On the contrary, when the entire moon is located inside the umbra of the Earth, it's called a total lunar eclipse.
There's a third kind of eclipse- penumbral eclipse- when the moon only passes through the penumbra of Earth.
Is it safe to look at a lunar eclipse?
Unlike a solar eclipse, it is perfectly safe to look at a lunar eclipse through the naked eye.
Although superstitions warn against looking at all eclipses directly, scientifically, a lunar eclipse cannot cause damage to your eyes.
So, unless you want to wait for the next lunar eclipse, which will be on May 26, 2021, you might want to check this one out.
Eclipse will have 1.7037 penumbral magnitude, and 0.653 umbral magnitude
According to NASA, the penumbral magnitude (fraction of the moon's diameter covered by Earth's penumbra) for the upcoming eclipse will be 1.7037 and the umbral magnitude (fraction of the moon's diameter covered by Earth's umbra region) will be 0.653.
This eclipse is the first-of-its-kind in 149 years
The event is doubly special as it is the first time in the last 149 years that a lunar eclipse will coincide with Guru Purnima, a festival that marks the birth anniversary of Veda Vyasa and holds great significance in Hinduism and Buddhism.