Partial lunar eclipse in Russia hours before New Year
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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.


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

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