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Penumbral lunar eclipse on Tuesday

india Updated: Jul 06, 2009 14:48 IST

PTI
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A penumbral lunar eclipse will occur on Tuesday, however, sky gazers in India will miss the spectacular show as it will not be visible in the country.

The penumbral lunar eclipse will occur on Tuesday as the moon rises over Australia and sets in western North and South America in the early predawn hours, Science Popularisation Association of Communicators and Educators (SPACE) Director C B Devgun said.

As the moon will only enter the southernmost tip of the penumbral shadow of the earth, it will be very difficult to
observe the eclipse with the naked eye, Devgun said.

The phenomenon is only of academic interest since the magnitude of the eclipse is just 0.156 at its maximum, he said, adding there is only a little chance for seeing any of the eclipse's dimming effect. It will, however, last for two hours.

The first penumbral contact is predicted to occur at 08:37:51 Universal Time (UT) and end at 10:39:23 UT. The point
of greatest eclipse occurs at about 09:38:37.9 UT.

The eclipse will be visible in North America west of the Great Lakes, including Hawaii, and many parts of Alaska (Harrington, 1997). The moon will also be high in the sky over New Zealand and eastern Australia during the eclipse, he said.

A lunar eclipse occurs when the earth is in a straight line between the sun and the moon and the shadow of the earth falls on the moon, Devgun said, adding that a penumbral lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes through penumbra, the lighter part of the earth's shadow.

The next lunar eclipse will occur on August 6.