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Updated on: Wednesday, May 29, 2019, 07:32 AM IST

Ujjain: Longest total lunar eclipse to be witnessed on Friday-Saturday

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Ujjain: The complete lunar eclipse that takes place at midnight on July 27 will be the longest moonlight in the 21st Century, which will last about 103 minutes. Detailing the full lunar eclipse, Ujjain Planetarium’s principal scientist and incharge Shailendra Singh Dabi informed that the longest lunar eclipse in the last century was occurred in the year 2000 which was four minutes from this time of complete lunar eclipse.

The longest lunar eclipse in India will start on July 27 at 22:42:48 and will end on July 28, 05:00 at the same time. Partial eclipse will start some minutes before midnight though totality will be reached at 1 am on July 28.  Several adjectives are being used for the moon on the night of July 27- blood moon, red moon, pink moon, scarlet moon, rust red and so on.

Dabi said there was no need to get confused by these adjectives.  All total lunar eclipses have colours. Why should the moon appear in such colours and also why not in a single colour? Why is the eclipse going to last so long? He pointed out that the moon will not change its colour.  The surface of moon is covered with greyish soil made up of silicate minerals like Feldspar, Olivine and Pyroxene.

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In some parts (mostly on the other side of moon which is hidden from view) there is ‘sea’ of lava called Maria. Lava being dark appears blackish but we don’t see it on the earth-facing side. We do see the craters created by bombarding micro and big meteoritic bodies that fall from space, he added.

Dabi further informed that the colour of lunar surface will remain the same (whitish, greyish etc), but at this time sunlight will not fall directly on the moon’s surface. The light falling on the moon is passing through earth’s atmosphere. In the process the blue light is scattered more and goes to outer side.

The red light is on the inner side.  This is just like a spectrum made by a prism or a rainbow. Naturally if red light falls on moon, only red light can be reflected.  However, the colour of moon not being red, a very small amount is reflected and hence dark red colour is seen. The exact colour will depend on the actual scattering that depends on the atmospheric conditions, mainly the nature of dust.

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The moon will pass through the shadow zone during the eclipse. The eclipse this time is a long duration eclipse (the longest in the century, totality for 1 hour, 43 minutes) because moon will pass through this cone of earth’s shadow close to the centre and take longer to pass through. The penumbral eclipse will begin at 10:44 pm IST followed by a partial eclipse at 11:54 pm.

A total eclipse will start at 1:00 am (July 28). The moon, closest to the centre of the shadow, will showcase the maximum eclipse at 1:51 am.At 2:43 am, the total eclipse will end. The partial eclipse will start again around 3:49 am. At 4:58 am, the Penumbral eclipse will end. The total duration of the eclipse will be six hours and 14 minutes.  Interestingly, mars will be in opposition to sun on this night and also closer to earth than usual and hence will appear very bright, the scientist concluded.

Bhasmaarti to be held late on the first day of Shravan month

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The eclipse period will begin from 03:55 pm. On the month of Shravan, Mahakaleshwar temple’s doors are opened at 3 am, but due to the eclipseon July 28, the doors will be opened only when the eclipse is over. After  liberation of the eclipse, the temple will be purified, after which the bhasmaarti pujan will start.

Duties of the temple committee employees has been rescheduled keeping the lunar eclipse in view. Garbhagriha inspector Rakesh Shrivastav has been ordered to open the doors around 4:30 am and after taking bath with fellow employees, andafter moksha, they willwash the garbhagriha.

In addition to this, in order to give entry to the darshanarthis for bhasmaarti, incharge Ashok Ladge was asked to make a public appeal in view of particular arrangements and to allow them to pour water on the MahakalJ yotirlingam at about  04:45 am.Yashoda Sharma and her assistant Gayatri Sharma have been ordered to clean the bhog room after eclipse salvation and only then make arrangements for bhog preparation.

Similarly, store room in-charge Manish Panchal and assistant Umesh Tiwari have been instructed to ensure necessary arrangements for worship on the eclipse.  Mahakaleshwar free of cost annakshetra incharge Milind Vaidya was asked to close the food zone at 03.55 pm in the eclipse period on July 27.

Arrangements made at Observatory to witness the event

Government Jiwajirao Observatory superintendent Rajendra Prakash Gupt said t due to the occurrence of complete lunar eclipse in Antarctica, Australia, Middle East and South America, Russia, Africa and Asia, it will also be well seen in India. Arrangementshave been made to see the eclipse through the telescope in the Observatory. He requested people to visit the observatory to witness this astronomical event. It is absolutely necessary that the sky remains open to see the eclipse. In the event of cloud cover, eclipse will not be seen, he added.

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Published on: Friday, July 27, 2018, 10:38 AM IST
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