Moon becomes centre of attraction tonight in final eclipse for the year

Moon becomes centre of attraction tonight in final eclipse for the year

Moon becomes centre of attraction tonight in final eclipse for the year

Written by Staff Writer

08 Oct, 2014 | 9:27 am

The final total lunar eclipse for this year is to take place on Wednesday.

Speaking to News1st, Professor in the Physical Sciences Division at the Colombo University, Chandana Jayaratne said it might be difficult for Sri Lankans to witness the event during the afternoon.

He has predicted that the lunar eclipse will begin at 5.45 p.m local time and end at 10.21 p.m when the moon enters the penumbra of the earth’s shadow.

Australia, New Zealand, Canada and America will have the opportunity to witness the lunar eclipse. He further stated however that Sri Lankans will be able to witness the lunar eclipse at 6.00 to 6.03 p.m. local time.

Professor Chandana Jayaratne said that it will be possible to witness a similar occurrence on  April 4 next year.

Prof. Jayaratne said that during Wednesday’s eclipse, one cannot see dark shadow as in total or partial lunar eclipses, but can see only a reduction of the brightness of the moon.

He went on to say that a distinct shading could be seen across the moon during its peak at 8.03 p.m.

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What is a total lunar eclipse?

Lunar eclipse

A total lunar eclipse happens when the moon is completely in the Earth’s shadow, and any light reaching the moon must first pass through the Earth’s atmosphere. Instead of reflecting sunlight, the shadowed moon is bathed in a red light that bends around our atmosphere.

lunar_eclipse_explainer

As sunlight passes through our atmosphere it is refracted, or bent, and the green to violet part of the light spectrum is filtered out, leaving the red part of the spectrum least affected. According to astronomer Dr Michael Brown, the colour will be identical to that of a “sunset on a dusty, windy day”, with the degree of brightness depending on how much cloud there is in the region, as well as the amount of dust particles in the atmosphere.

-SMH

 

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