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Skygazers await rare celestial treat

The months of July and August will present a grand spectacle for the sky gazers across the country as a rare astronomical event--a series of triple eclipses, commences from July 7.

india Updated: Jul 04, 2009 15:14 IST

The months of July and August will present a grand spectacle for the sky gazers across the country as a rare astronomical event--a series of triple eclipses, commences from July 7.

"The sequence of the first triple eclipse will be a penumbra lunar eclipse (in which the moon will be darkened by the earth's shadow) occuring on July 7, will be followed by a solar eclipse on July 22 and then another lunar eclipse on August 7," India General Secretary of city-based Planetary Society, N Raghunandan Kumar said here today.

"The second penumbra lunar eclipse of the year falling on July 7 will not be visible from India, but the third lunar eclipse of the year falling on August 7 is visible from India," he said and pointed out that the total solar eclipse on July 22 is a life time opportunity for the people of India.

On July 22, people can witness the last solar eclipse of the year which is total. The eclipse begins at 5.28 am and ends at 10.42 am, whereas the Central Phase begins at 6.23 am and ends at 9.47 am, Kumar explained.

The greatest phase or when eclipse is at maximum occurs at 8.05 am and the maximum duration of eclipse is 6 minutes and 44 seconds. This is the longest until year 2132, Kumar said.