Puneites witness total lunar eclipse after six years
The last lunar eclipse was last visible from Pune on December 10, 2011.Updated: Feb 01, 2018 16:40 IST
After six years Pune witnessed a total lunar eclipse on Wednesday, and to commemorate that, Jyotirvidya Parisanstha, an association of amateur astronomers, facilitated a public show with telescopes at Kesariwada, Narayan peth from 6:25 pm to 8:41 pm. The last lunar eclipse was last visible from Pune on December 10, 2011. This time, however, spectators were able to witness a rare phenomenon, a combination of super moon, blue moon and eclipse (red moon) on Wednesday.
Blue moon occurs when two full moons occur in one Gregorian calendar month. However, despite the name, the moon does not bear any blue hue. On the other hand, the super moon is in fact a brighter moon, which is visible when the moon is closer to the earth on a day of full moon.
Known as the penumbral eclipse, this phenomenon began from 4:21 pm and entered the earth's umbra, a segment of its shadow, at 5:18 pm, thus, creating a partial eclipse. However, this phase of eclipse would not be visible to unaided eyes.
According to the organisation, the maximum eclipse in Pune would have been visible at 6:59 pm and ended by 7:37 pm. The partial eclipse then, was predicted to end at 8:41 pm, whereas the penumbral eclipse would end at 9:38 pm. Although, during an eclipse the earth’s shadow falls on the moon, the state of totality of the moon is entirely under the earth’s umbra. At this point, when, despite the entire shadow, sunlight passes through the earth’s atmosphere, it refracts and red-coloured rays reach up to the moon’s surface thus causing the phenomenon of a total lunar eclipse.
Similar to Jyotirvidya Parisanstha, the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) also organised a show during the eclipse. However, not a public display, the institute did a live webcast of the phenomenon from their base. “Every eclipse is rare in its own way, however, this occurrence is special as two full moons have entered during the same time. Also, the occurrence of the brilliant red moon along with the super moon is in fact fascinating,” said Sanjit Mitra, associate professor and scientist, IUCAA.
The live stream by IUCAA, through YouTube, also involved a number of insightful details and explanations on the event by astronomers and scientists.
In addition to this, the Astronomical Society of IndiaI’s Public Outreach and Education Committee also put up more information on the eclipse on their web-page: http://astron-soc.in/outreach/activities/total-lunar-eclipse-2018/.
The platform provided eclipse timings, animations for India, moon-rise finder, lists of resources in English and many Indian languages, tutorials and information on how to see the eclipse, and a glossary of what exactly is this super moon - blue moon - copper moon - blood moon eclipse.