Astronomers and amatuer skywatchers will get to see the longest lunar eclipse of this century this month. In two weeks from now, on November 19 (Kartik Purnima), Earth will pass between the Sun and Moon, creating a shadow on the Moon’s surface. The near-total lunar eclipse will peak just after 1:30pm IST, when the Earth will hide 97 percent of the full moon from the Sun’s rays, said NASA. During this spectacular celestial event, the moon will acquire a reddish hue. It will be visible in some parts of India.
Lunar eclipses are visible only in places where the Moon is above the horizon. Those in the northeastern states of India, including Assam and Arunachal Pradesh, should be able to see the event. People in North America will be best placed to witness the entire event. All 50 US states and Mexico will be able to see it. It will also be visible in Australia, East Asia, Northern Europe, and the Pacific Ocean region.
NASA said the lunar eclipse will last 3 hours, 28 minutes, and 23 seconds, which would be longer than any other eclipse in 100 years between 2001 and 2100. NASA said that Earth will witness a total of 228 lunar eclipses in the 21st century. Mostly, there will be two lunar eclipses in a month, but there can also be three eclipses.
Those unable to see the eclipse in their areas can watch a livestream of the event below:
Normally, the Moon’s face is illuminated by sunlight reflecting off its surface. But during a lunar eclipse, the Moon, Sun, and Earth align in a straight line. The Earth blocks the sunlight from reaching the moon and thus, the lunar object appears eaten from Earth. During a total lunar eclipse, 100 percent of the Moon is obscured by the Earth’s cone-shaped shadow, known as the umbra.
The next eclipse will take place on May 16, 2022.