Total Lunar Eclipse in India: Important Facts

Total Lunar Eclipse - 2018
Total Lunar Eclipse 2018

On January 31, 2018, the total lunar eclipse will be observed. The eclipse would be visible from many parts of the world, including India. The first lunar eclipse of 2018 is very significant as it is after a period of 150 years that a Super blue blood moon would be seen in the sky. A supermoon means that the moon will be appearing larger and brighter than it normally does.But what exactly is a total lunar eclipse? The moon It has no light of its own and receives its entire glow from the sun. Total Lunar eclipse occurs when earth, moon and the sun form a straight line. The earth gets aligned between the moon and the sun, which prevents the light from the sun reaching the moon. The sun gets exactly behind the earth, which results in the shadow of the earth covering the whole moon. This is known as total lunar eclipse.

This year the Total Lunar Eclipse would occur on January 31, which would be the first lunar eclipse in the year 2018. It would have three characteristics.

1) The presence of blue moon- This means the moon of the eclipse will be a second full moon within the calendar month which happens just once in a period of nearly three years.

2) The moon will be supermoon- The moon’s orbit around the earth is not a perfect circle, its an ellipse. The closest point to the earth on the orbit of moon is called perigee. When we have a full moon near perigee after the completion of two cycles of the moon it is slightly bigger and brighter. This moon is known as Supermoon.

3) The moon will be blood moon- When the sun, moon and earth are in a straight line, the lunar eclipse occur. Earth blocks the direct sunlight coming from the moon during a total lunar eclipse. But, some part of the sun’s light gets scattered through the atmosphere of the Earth and reaches the moon due to which it appears reddish in color, which is commonly known as blood moon.

Places where we the Total Lunar Eclipse would be visible:

The lunar eclipse would be visible almost all over the world. The few parts where the eclipse is not visible are the United Kingdom, and some parts of Western Europe. The lunar eclipse would be visible supposedly in across entire India. It can be seen from all major cities such as Bengaluru, New Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmadabad, and others.

Duration of the eclipse

The total duration of the eclipse would be 76 minutes, which is approximately one hour and sixteen minutes. The eclipse will take place at 6:21 p.m and will be visible till 7:37 pm. Supposedly, it will end at 9:38 pm.

What needs to be done –
A lunar eclipse is a natural occurrence, but few precautions need to be taken.

1) It is advised that pregnant women should stay inside the home and avoid watching the eclipse as radiations can affect the baby in the womb.
2) Due to the high tides in the ocean, one should avoid going to areas near the coast.
3) Do not worry. The eclipse would take place in the evening so you can watch it with your naked eyes. However, be alert and careful while watching.