Lunar Eclipse 2021: Sky gazers will witness a super-celestial event as a total lunar eclipse will take place on May 26, 2021, which is tomorrow. This phenomenon is also known as a Super Blood Moon as the moon appears slightly reddish-orange in colour and since it is a full moon, the satellite will appear really big as well.
This is the first total Lunar Eclipse in over two years. The last time a total lunar eclipse took place was in January 21, 2019.
A total lunar eclipse takes place when the Earth comes between the sun and the moon, blocks the sun’s rays from directly reaching the satellite. The moon is fully in the Earth’s shadow and this is why it is a total lunar eclipse.
The lunar eclipse will be visible in East Asia, Australia, the Pacific, and America. It will also be visible from some parts of the Pacific, the Atlantic, and the Indian ocean. Those in eastern Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands, including Hawaii are the lucky ones as they will be able to witness both the total and the partial eclipse.
According to NASA’s website, the total eclipse will be visible near moonset timing in the western continental United States, Canada, Mexico, most of Central America and Ecuador, western Peru, southern Chile and Argentina. Along the Asian Pacific Rim, the total eclipse will be visible just after moonrise, states the space agency.
In India, the total eclipse will not be visible. Only the partial eclipse, “which takes place as the Moon moves into and out of Earth’s shadow” will be visible in parts of Eastern India, Nepal, western China, Mongolia, and eastern Russia.
Though the total lunar eclipse will not be visible in India, we can still watch the event. Various YouTube channels are set to stream live footage of the total lunar eclipse and have already set up a countdown to the event. This year’s first total lunar eclipse will start at 2:17 pm as per Indian Standard Timing (IST) and be visible until 7:19 pm. The Dateandtime website has also setup a livestream for the same. NASA has not yet announced a livestream. The eclipse’s total duration is three hours and the total phase when the Moon gets completely blocked will be around 15 minutes.
This is a Super Blood Moon, where the moon appears reddish orange in colour and really big as well. It is big because this is a full moon and the satellite is closest to Earth. However, NASA also says that not all Supermoons are Blood moons or red in appearance, because an eclipse is not taking place at the same time in all cases. But this one is different.
According to NASA’s page on the Blood Moon of May 26, “sunlight bends and scatters as it passes through Earth’s atmosphere,” and during a lunar eclipse, this filtered sunlight makes it way to through the Earth’s atmosphere, and does reach the lunar surface.
“The eclipsed Moon is dimly illuminated by red-orange light left over from all of the sunsets and sunrises occurring around the world at that time. The more dust or clouds in Earth’s atmosphere during the eclipse, the redder the Moon will appear,” explains the page.