Karnataka braces to watch longest lunar eclipse on Friday

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Bengaluru, July 27 (IANS) Hundreds of enthusiastic skywatchers in Karnataka brace to witness the longest lunar eclipse of the century which begins on Friday night and ends early Saturday.

“The lunar eclipse will begin at 10.44 p.m. on Friday night and end at 4.58 a.m. on Saturday. As the moon will pass through the centre of Earth’s shadow, the eclipse will be the longest in a century,” the Director of Nehru Planetarium Pramod G.Galgali told IANS here.

A lunar eclipse occurs whenAEarth comes in between the Sun and moon, with the three celestial bodies falling in a line and Earth’s shadow covering moon. A

As the moon enters the Earth’s darker shadow — umbra — it will bear a reddish appearance and is known commonly as a blood moon, with the lunar eclipse also being called the ‘longest blood moon’, Galgali added.A

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The planetarium in the city centre will be playing host to the visitors from 11.30 p.m. and will be providing them telescopes and binoculars to get a better sight at the celestial spectacle.

The stargazers in the city can also expect to see the eclipse through their naked eye if the sky remains clear and free from monsoon clouds.

After the moon will begin entering into outer part of Earth’s shadow — penumbra — at 10.44 p.m., the partial eclipse (when moon starts to enter the darker shadow) will begin at 11.54 p.m., and the full eclipse when the moon will appear red will last for one hour 43 minutes from 1 a.m. to 2.43 a.m.

The eclipse will completely end at 4.58 a.m. when the moon will come out of Earth’s shadow.

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During the eclipse, Mars is also expected to be at one of its closest points to the Earth, and would be visible through a telescope.

Several temples across the state are expected to shut early at night, as many devout Hindus fear the lunar eclipse to be inauspicious.

Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy’s father and Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) supremo H.D. Deve Gowda, along with his wife Chennamma, performed special prayers at their residence inAthe city ahead of the eclipse.

–IANS

bha/vd

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