Get ready for shortest lunar eclipse of century on April 4

  • Vanita Srivastava, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Apr 02, 2015 16:22 IST

Get ready for the shortest lunar eclipse of the century on Saturday.

A total lunar eclipse will occur on that day when for the third time in less than a year, the moon dips into earth’s shadow.

The duration of totality is remarkably low - about 4 minutes 43 seconds only.

The moon just skims along towards the outer edge of the umbral shadow of the earth, resulting in such a short duration of the lunar eclipse.

According to NASA, this eclipse marks the third in a series of four lunar eclipses in a row, known as a "tetrad". The eclipse happens when the moon moves into the shadow cast by the sun shining on the earth.

During the eclipse, the moon often looks reddish because sunlight has passed through earth's atmosphere, which filters out most of its blue light. This eerie, harmless effect has earned the tongue-in-cheek nickname "blood moon', says NASA.

A telescope is not needed to view a lunar eclipse-- just find the moon in the sky and enjoy.

According to sources eclipse in various phases begins at 2:30pm and ends at 8:31pm on April 4.

The noticeable umbral phase begins at 3:45pm and ends at 7:15pm wherein total phase begins at 5:24pm and ends at 5:37pm. The best places to see this eclipse in India are the North Eastern States, Port Blair and other places where moon rises early.

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