Longest partial lunar eclipse in 580 years to occur on 19 Nov; all you need to know

This year, the longest partial lunar eclipse in 580 years will take place overnight on 18-19 November, as per the National Aeronautics and Science Administration (NASA). The eclipse will be visible in all parts of the US and parts of Australia, East Asia and South America as well.

The eclipse will last for about 3 hours 28 minutes and 23 seconds, according to the agency. If we count the time of the penumbral eclipse, meaning when the Moon is in the Earth's outer shadow, the eclipse will last for over six hours.

In India, the eclipse will be visible from some areas of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh for a short while. The eclipse in India will last from 12:48 pm to 4:17 pm.

The partial lunar eclipse will peak around 1:30 pm in the country, when 97 percent of the Moon would be in the Earth’s shadow.
As the excitement among space enthusiasts and astronomers grows for the partial lunar eclipse, here is everything you need to know about lunar eclipses:

What is a lunar eclipse?

A lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth, Sun and Moon are in such an alignment that the Earth blocks the sun’s rays from reaching the moon. This leads to the moon being ‘eclipsed’ by the Earth’s shadow.

There are three types of lunar eclipses- partial, total and penumbral eclipses. A partial eclipse means that the Earth’s shadow obscures the moon partly, while in a total lunar eclipse the celestial body is completely covered by the Earth. A penumbral lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon is in the Earth’s faint outer shadow or penumbra.

Can lunar eclipses occur twice in the same month?

A lunar eclipse can occur twice in a particular month, while in rare cases, three eclipses can also take place. A total of 228 lunar eclipses will take place in the 21st century, as per NASA.

When will the last lunar eclipse occur in 2021?

The last lunar eclipse will occur on 19 November this year, with the moon being partially obscured by the Earth’s shadow.

When will the next lunar eclipse take place?

The next lunar eclipse is scheduled to take place on 16 May next year.

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