India will able to witness a partial lunar eclipse on August 7 night that will start at around 10.52 pm on the night of August 7 and will continue till 00.48 am IST. The partial lunar eclipse will be visible with the naked eye. For a better view, SPACE India will set up a special telescope at DLF Cyber city and Leisure valley Park for free.
The next eclipse of the Moon will occur on January 31 next year. It will, however, be a total lunar eclipse. It will also be visible from India. Unfortunately, the Americas are completely shut out of seeing this upcoming lunar event, since that part of the Earth will be turned away from the moon and will be in daylight when the eclipse takes place.
A partial lunar eclipse occurs when the earth moves between the sun and the moon, but they are not precisely aligned or they do not form a perfect straight line in space. Because of this, only part of the moon's visible surface moves into the earth's shadow.
Earth's shadow has two parts: the umbra, which is the darker inner portion, and the penumbra, the lighter outer part. Their interactions with the moon can create three types of lunar eclipses: partial, total and penumbral.
The shadow is composed of two cone-shaped parts, one nested inside the other. The outer shadow or penumbra is a zone where Earth shadow is partial and blocks some, but not all of the Sun's rays. In contrast, the inner shadow or umbra is a region where Earth blocks all direct sunlight from reaching the Moon. It is only when a part of the Moon passes through the umbra, a partial lunar eclipse is seen.
"Lunar eclipses are completely safe to view with the naked eye. No special filters are required to protect your eyes like those used for solar eclipses. One does not need a telescope to watch the eclipse, although a good pair of binoculars will enhance the experience," said Debiprosad Duari, Director Research and Academic, M P Birla Planetarium.
"The sky permitting, since it is the rainy season and the sky remains overcast most of the time, it will be a wonderful opportunity to experience this celestial event and to take photographs if possible," he added.