Chandra Grahan or Lunar Eclipse 2018 India: People from all across the globe will have their eyes set at the moon as it turns a blood red orange behind the Earth’s shadow for over an hour and 43 minutes. Yes, the month of July is all set to end with a unique celestial coincidence — the longest Lunar Eclipse of the 21st century — giving astronomy lovers a golden opportunity to catch a glimpse of the rare occurrence.
The eclipse will play out simultaneously over the night sky in the final hours of July 27, and the early hours of July 28. The spectacular event follows the Super Blue Blood Moon that played out on the night of January 31 across many parts of the world this year. While this event may not seem as dramatic in comparison, the moon will still be observed in hues of scarlet red.
As the moon falls into a position directly behind the Earth, thereby blocking the direct sunlight, it will acquire a reddish hue. This phenomenon is called a Total Lunar Eclipse. During its orbit, the moon will be at its furthest distance from the Earth, making its revolution around the planet seem slower than usual. What’s more, it will also fall under the region over which the Earth casts its shadow, called the Umbra.
This phenomenon is popularly known as Blood Moon Eclipse because the moon reflects red light off its surface. The name describes the phenomenon of Rayleigh scattering. Any interference in the way of a beam of light scatters the rays and reflects different colours. The scattering of light is the same consequence that makes skies blue and imparts an orange tinge to it during sunset.
In fact, if the same spectacle was seen from the surface of the moon, the sun could be seen setting behind the Earth, enveloping it in a glowing red shade. Once the moon leaves the Earth’s shadow after the partial and penumbral eclipse phase, it will go back to its regular, white colour.