Bhopal: Bhopalites may witness the longest lunar eclipse of the century on July 27-28 at different places in the city if the weather permits and the sky do not remain cloudy. Astronomers in the city will hold events to witness this unique astronomical phenomenon at several palces in the city.

An astronomer Sarika Gharu told Free Press, “The lunar eclipse on July 27 is said to be the longest blood moon witnessed in 100 years. The Moon will be visible in a scarlet red hue for over 1 hour and 43 minutes, which is 40 per cent longer than any other blood moon measured in recent times. Its duration will be around three hours 55 minutes. The second phase of the partial lunar eclipse will be seen until 3.49 am.”

She said, “There is a possibility to witness Delta Aquariid meteor shower about 20 times in an hour.” “Besides, opposition of Mars will also occur on these dates, which is happening after 15 years. Mars will be close to the earth and look brighter. The last opposition of Mars, which means the Sun, Earth and the Red planet are lined up, occurred in 2003,” she added.

“If the weather is not cloudy, we can also witness this unique astronomical phenomenon in the city. We have planned to organise unique astronomical phenomenon either in Chinar Park or in Ekant Park. The blood moon and Mars inversion does not require the aid of special eyewear. We use telescopes, to get the best view of these phenomena,” Gharu added.

Director of Regional Science Centre, Prabal Roy said, “It is said be longest Blood Moon of the century. The lunar passage will mark the total eclipse of the moon – a celestial event which happens about twice a year on an average. The total eclipse is also referred to as the Blood Moon because of the characteristic way in which the moon glows in reddish-orange colour.” “These celestial events would be tough to witness, given the cloud cover from the ongoing monsoons. So, we haven’t plan to organise any event on the day.”

“It is astronomical phenomenon. But it may affect the climate badly. There are possibilities of heavy rain and landscapes. The Indian economy will be quite stable. It is auspicious for the people belonging to birth signs like Aries, Leo, Scorpion, and Pisces while it is inauspicious for the people belonging to Gemini, Libra, Capricorn and Aquarius,” said Dr. Rajesh Kumar Mishra who teaches mathematic and astrology at Atal Bihari Vajapyee Hindi University, Bhopal.

Lunar Eclipse

A total lunar eclipse will begin at 11.54pm and end at 3.49am on the intervening night of July 27 and July 28. A lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes directly behind Earth and into its shadow. This can occur only when the Sun, Earth, and the Moon are aligned (in syzygy) exactly or very closely so, with the planet in between. Hence, a lunar eclipse can occur only on a full moon night.

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