A celestial spectacle not to be missed

A celestial spectacle not to be missed
Highlights

A celestial spectacle awaits people that scientists say is not to be missed as it would be the longest total lunar eclipse of the 21st century There are several reasons why scientists across the country insist people should not miss see box People would be able to spot Mars as bright reddish nontwinkling star like object in the sky for months to come

Hyderabad: A celestial spectacle awaits people that scientists say is not to be missed as it would be the longest total lunar eclipse of the 21st century. There are several reasons why scientists across the country insist people should not miss (see box). People would be able to spot Mars as bright reddish non-twinkling star like object in the sky for months to come.

The eclipse in various phases begins at 10:45 pm. on July 27 and ends at 04:59 am on July 28, 2018. At 10:37 pm IST, Mars, Earth, and the Sun will be along as straight a line as possible. Mars would rise around the sunset time and will set around the time of sunrise. This time, Mars comes the closest to Earth as compared to any time in the last 15 years.

As a consequence, it will also appear to be the biggest and brightest in the last 15 years. At this time, Mars will be just 58 million km from the Earth. The moon would pass through the centre of the Earth’s shadow resulting in what is known as the Deep Red Blood Moon. B G Sidharth, director, BM Birla Science Centre in Hyderabad says, “Moon is at its farthest distance from Earth, so it will be for an hour and 43 minutes.

In the meanwhile, people and planetary enthusiasts are planning to watch the spectacle. N Sri Raghunandan Kumar, director, Planetary Society, India says, “We invite a lot of schools to participate in viewing the spectacle as it is once in a lifetime opportunity and they get to learn a lot. It will last for an hour and 43 minutes.”

This eclipse is a total lunar eclipse and would be visible from entire India. Across the world this eclipse will be visible in Antarctica, Australasia, Russia except northernmost parts, Asia, Africa, Scandanavia, Europe, Central and Eastern South America.

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