New Delhi: The world will witness the longest total lunar eclipse of this century on July 27, 2018. It will be on the intervening night of July 27 and 28 with a duration of 1 hour and 43 minutes, making it the longest one. Lunar Eclipse and Solar Eclipse, referred to as Chandra Grahan and Surya Grahan respectively, hold special significance in the Hindu calendar.
They are not mere changes in the positions of the celestial bodies but have profound religious meanings too. A lunar eclipse happens when the Moon passes directly behind Earth and into its shadow. During a total lunar eclipse, Earth blocks direct sunlight from reaching the Moon. The only light reflected from the lunar surface has been refracted by Earth's atmosphere. This light appears reddish. And that is why it's also known as the blood moon.
Timings of the Lunar Eclipse:
It will be visible in New Delhi. The Penumbral Eclipse begins at 22.44 PM IST on July 27. The partial eclipse of the Moon will begin at 23h 54m IST on July 27. The Moon will be gradually covered by the Earth’s shadow and the totality phase will begin at 1h 00m IST on July 28.
The total eclipse will last up to 2h 43m IST on 28 July.
Then the Moon will start to gradually come out of Earth’s shadow and partial eclipse will end at 3h 49m IST on July 28.
Where it will be seen
The eclipse will be visible in the regions covering Australia, Asia, Russia - except the northern part, Africa, Europe, east of South America and Antarctica. It will be visible in all parts of India.
In India, there are several myths associated with the eclipse. It is believed that after the Grahan is over, one should take a bath in the holy river Ganges and change to new clothes. Taking a dip in holy water will lead to salvation or moksha, some believe.