In 2023, we witnessed several full moons, including a rare supermoon last month! But who said we were done? Skywatchers and astronomy lovers are in for a real treat as they get to witness not one but two incredible celestial events – a Solar Eclipse and a Lunar Eclipse in October. These cosmic phenomena have captivated human imaginations for ages, giving rise to myths and awe-inspiring wonder.
As we step into the festive season and autumn, the Solar Eclipse (Surya Grahan) and Lunar eclipse (Chandra Grahan) have immense cultural and religious significance in India, as much as they are scientific phenomena.
What's a Solar Eclipse?
A solar eclipse occurs when the moon passes between the earth and the sun, blocking some or all of the sun's light from reaching the earth. It's like the moon temporarily obscuring the sun from our view. There are 3 different types of solar eclipses:
Total Solar Eclipse: This is when the Moon completely covers the Sun, creating a dark circle in the sky. The Sun's outer atmosphere, called the solar corona, becomes visible during a total solar eclipse.
Partial Solar Eclipse: In a partial solar eclipse, the Moon covers only a portion of the Sun, and it looks like a bite has been taken out of the Sun.
Annular Solar Eclipse: An annular solar eclipse occurs when the Moon is at its farthest point from Earth (apogee), and it appears slightly smaller than the Sun. As a result, a ring of the sun's outer edge is visible, creating a "ring of fire" effect.
The solar eclipse on October 14 is an annular solar eclipse.
Where can you watch the solar eclipse?
The solar eclipse will be visible in India from 11:29 pm to 11:34 pm on October 14.
What's a Lunar Eclipse?
Lunar eclipses happen when the Earth comes between the sun and the moon, casting its shadow on the moon's surface. You can only see a lunar eclipse during a full moon, and it's a remarkable sight to behold.
Where can you watch the lunar eclipse?
The Lunar Eclipse will begins at (IST) 11:31 pm on October 28 and end at 3:36 am on October 29.
It's going to be visible from many parts of the world, including Asia, Russia, Africa, the Americas, Europe, Antarctica, and Oceania. If you're in New Delhi, look to the southwest in the sky. In India, the maximum eclipse moment occurs at 1:45 AM, when around 12% of the moon will be in shadow.
Don't forget to mark your calendars for these cosmic displays in October!