Partial lunar eclipse Thursday night

New Delhi, April 24 (IANS) Sky gazers can look forward to a partial lunar eclipse that will take place Thursday and will be first of the three eclipses of 2013, officials said Wednesday.

Earth’s shadow will cover one percent of the moon and will just touch the moon’s limb. The moon will not disappear and turn red but will get slightly darker than usual.

“Only a tiny sliver of the Moon will be covered by the Earth’s umbral shadow at maximum eclipse, the northern half of the Moon will be darkened from being inside the penumbral shadow,” said Science Popularisation Association of Communicators and Educators (SPACE) president C.B. Devgun.

“This is the second shortest partial eclipse of the Moon for the 21st century, lasting 27 minutes,” added Devgun.

SPACE is a private organisation working for popularising science among people.

The eclipse will occur on the intervening night of April 25-26-beginning at 11:31 p.m. and ending at 3:43 a.m. and would be visible from all parts of India.

“It will be visible from all parts of India. Unlike a total solar eclipse, which is visible only from a restricted zone of totality, this lunar eclipse will be seen from the entire night side of the earth,” said Devgun.

A partial lunar eclipse occurs when only a portion of the moon passes directly behind the earth into its umbra (shadow). This can occur when the earth moves between the sun and moon but the three celestial bodies do not form a perfectly straight line.

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