Partial lunar eclipse in Russia hours before New Year

Last Updated: Wednesday, December 30, 2009 - 13:20

St Petersburg: Russia will observe a partial lunar eclipse on the night before the New Year.
"To make our sensations acuter, the lunar eclipse will
be out there if, of course, whimsical weather doesn`t play its
tricks on us again," said Sergei Smirnov, the Press Secretary
of Russia`s main observatory at Pulkovo, St Petersburg.

"The Earth will overshadow only a small part of the
Moon from solar light, just a few percent of the visible disc
in the southern part of the Selene," Smirnov said.

"The transition of the Earth`s only natural satellite
into the semi-shade, or penumbra, will begin at 20:15 Moscow
time /17:15 GMT/ and the eclipse will begin slightly more than
an hour later," he said.

The Moon`s exit from the penumbra is expected at
around 21:00 hours GMT.

Smirnov rejected all speculations by some Russian
astrologers trying to convince a New Year, the arrival of
which is accompanied by a lunar eclipse, does not have
anything good in store for this country.

"That`s just outright nonsense," he said
categorically.

"Observations show that lunar eclipses don`t have
anything to do with our earthly life and there`s no link
between them /eclipses and life/ whatsoever," he said.

He indicated that an annular solar eclipse is expected
January 15.

"We evidenced two solar and four lunar eclipses in the
outgoing year, and nonetheless life continues in spite of all
the celestial phenomena," Smirnov said.

Lunar eclipse on New Year day

Partial lunar eclipse will take place
on New Year`s Day with only the southern tip of the moon
covered by the earth`s dark shadow.

"The eclipse begins at 00:21 hrs (IST ? on January 1) and
ends at 01:24 hrs (IST)", Tamil Nadu Science and Technology
Centre Executive Director Dr P Iyamperumal told today.

Lunar eclipses can take place only during particular
full-moon days, when the moon comes diametrically opposite to
the position of the sun, as viewed from the earth.

The eclipse will be visible in the region covering Alaska,
Australia, Indonesia, Asia, Africa, Europe including the
British Isles and the Arctic regions, he said, adding, the
eclipse can also be viewed in India.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, December 30, 2009 - 13:20

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