Scientists encourage people to eat during lunar eclipse

ST Correspondent
Thursday, 26 July 2018

It will be the ‘longest lunar eclipse of this century’

Pune: The Astronomical Society of India (ASI), which is one of the leading organisations of scientists, astronomers and researchers in the country, has issued a statement through its Public Outreach and Education Committee (POEC), about the lunar eclipse on Friday. 

It will be the ‘longest lunar eclipse of this century’. The ASI has encouraged people to enjoy the eclipse and not believe in superstitions and to eat during the eclipse to bunk the irrational belief.

The body, in its statement, said, “On the night of July 27, 2018, over half of the world will have an opportunity to watch the century’s longest lunar eclipse. People living in a large part of Australia, Asia, Africa, Europe and South America will have an opportunity to observe the eclipse from the beginning to the end.” The celestial phenomenon will last for 103 minutes.

Explaining the progression of the eclipse on the night of July 27, the release states, “The moon will enter the penumbral shadow of the earth at 10.53 pm. Nothing much will be noticeable to the untrained eyes for the next 30 to 40 minutes. Later, one might notice a gradual change in the brightness on the lunar disk,” adding, “By 11.54 pm, the dark shadow will be seen progressing on the lunar disk.”

“This will be quite noticeable to the naked eyes. At 1 am on July 28, the moon will be completely inside the umbra of the earth. At this time, the colour of the lunar disk will be red with its many hues - crimson, brick red, etc,” the statement said, adding, “The time of the maximum eclipse is 1:51 am. The total phase of the eclipse will end at 02.43 am. It will be out of the umbral shadow by 03.49 am and completely out of penumbra at 5 am.”

“Although lunar eclipses are a spectacular celestial phenomenon, they do not affect human beings. The lunar eclipse can be safely observed without any filters or telescopes from your own homes or terraces,” said Aniket Sule, of ASI.

He said, “It is perfectly safe to carry on your normal activities during the eclipse period, including eating and drinking. In fact, the ASI POEC promotes #EclipseEating campaign. We request people to take pictures of themselves eating/drinking during the eclipse and post them on the social media with the hashtag #EclipseEating.” 

The eclipse will be streamed live on the website of the Nehru Planetarium.

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