Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Penumbral lunar eclipse on November 28

There will be a penumbral eclipse of the moon on November 28. The eclipse starts at 5.45pm and maximum eclipse takes place at 8.03pm. It will end at10.21pm. The eclipse will be visible in Alaska, Hawaii, Australia or East Asia. Eastern Canada and the USA will miss the phenomenon. However, observers in western Canada and the USA will see the mid-eclipse.
Enthusiasts can see the lunar eclipse with naked eyes. It will cause no harm. Good time to look at the progress of the eclipse is between 7.30 pm and 8.30 pm. A pair of binoculars would certainly help but the shades of gray would be visible to the naked eyes too, closer to 8pm.
A lunar eclipse takes place when the shadow of the Earth falls on the Moon, or in other words, the Moon passes through the shadow of the Earth. Shadow of the earth, or any other object, has two parts — the central dark part called umbra and fainter outer part called penumbra.
Director of Nehru Science Centre Dr Arvind Paranjapye said, “The penumbral shadow can be easily seen or demonstrated by holding an object such as a pencil or a ball in the sun and looking at its shadow. If the object is closer to the ground or where it cast the shadow, the shadow is very sharp but as the object is moved away from screen the outer region becomes faint. This is the penumbral region of the shadow. The central part where the shadow is dark is the umbral region.”

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