Catch the shortest lunar eclipse of the century today

  • Vanita Srivastava, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Apr 04, 2015 14:22 IST

For the third time in less than a year, stargazers can view a total lunar eclipse on Saturday as the moon dips into the earth’s shadow.

Saturday’s will be the shortest lunar eclipse of the century – it is estimated to last for about 4 minutes 43 seconds -- when the moon just skims along towards the outer edge of the umbral shadow of the Earth.

According to Nasa, this eclipse marks the third in a series of four lunar eclipses in a row, known as a tetrad.

The eclipse occurs when the moon moves into the shadow cast by the sun shining on earth. In this scenario, the moon often looks reddish because of the sunlight that has passed through the earth’s atmosphere filters out most of its blue light. This phenomenon has been nicknamed ‘blood moon’.

According to sources, the total phase of the eclipse will begin at 5.24 pm and will end at 5.37 pm on April 4 and the best places to view it in India are the Northeastern states, Port Blair and other places where the moon rises early.

“The April 4 eclipse is the first and last eclipse visible from the entire country for 2015 because the one on September 28 will be visible only from a few places,” said Raghunandan, founder secretary of Planetary Society, India.

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