Thursday, April 25, 2013

Third shortest partial lunar eclipse to be visible on Thursday night

The first of the three lunar eclipses of the year will occur on Thursday, giving astro enthusiasts all over the country an opportunity to witness the celestial event.

A tiny sliver of the Moon will be covered by the Earth\'s umbral shadow at maximum of the partial lunar eclipse, N Sri Raghunandan Kumar of Planetary Society of India said.

This is the third shortest partial eclipse of the Moon for the 21st century, lasting just 27 minutes.

According to NASA, the shortest partial lunar eclipse of the 21st century will be on February 13, 2082, lasting only 25.5 minutes.

NASA data also indicates that on September 28, 2034, the second shortest partial eclipse will last for 26.7 minutes. The April 25-26, 2013, partial lunar eclipse will last for 27 minutes, making it the third shortest lunar eclipse of this century.

The lunar eclipse in various phases will begin at 11.32 pm tomorrow night and end at 03.43 am on April 26.

The noticeable Umbra phase will begin at 1.22 am and end at 1.53 am. Middle of eclipse, or when it is maximum, will occur at 1.37 am, he said.

The eclipse will be visible in the region covering Australia, Asia (except N.E. part), Africa, Europe and Antarctica, Kumar said.

This year, a total of five eclipses, three lunar and two annular, will occur.

Unlike an eclipse of the sun, star gazers do not need protective eye equipment to observe a lunar eclipse, he said.

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