The world will witness a thrilling and terrifying ‘Blood Moon’ lunar eclipse on the evening of November 8, as the Earth’s shadow envelopes its sole satellite for nearly one and a half hours.
Prof. Bharat Adur, Director of the Akash Ganga Centre for Astronomy in Mumbai, explains that the lunar eclipse, which occurs exactly 14 days (two Tuesdays) after the partial solar eclipse on October 25, will be only partially visible in the rest of India in the evening as the sun sets.
Tomorrow, the Earth’s looming shadow will cover the Moon, giving it a dark reddish hue, almost like a large drop of blood balanced in the sky… This is known as a ‘Blood Moon,’ and it is an exciting sight, according to Prof. Adur.
What Causes a Blood Moon?
The Earth will pass between the Sun and the Moon, and the blue planet’s monstrous shadow will shroud its small natural satellite, partially or completely, depending on the angle of alignment from which it is viewed.
The Sun is approximately 109 times larger than Earth and is located over 148 million kilometres away, whereas the Earth is nearly four times larger than the Moon and is located 3,85 lakh kilometres away.
“During a total lunar eclipse, the Moon is completely covered by the Earth’s darkest shadow, known as the ‘umbra,’ and at this time, the Moon appears a dark-reddish colour, known as the ‘Blood Moon’ phenomenon,” Prof. Adur explained.
It’s known as ‘Rayleigh Scattering’ because during a lunar eclipse, the only sunlight that reaches the Moon passes through the Earth’s atmosphere, causing the Moon to appear reddish.