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Lunar Eclipse May 2021: Everything You Need To Know

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Created by Parentune Support
Updated on Jun 05, 2020

Lunar Eclipse May 2021 Everything You Need To Know
Reviewed by Expert panel

Eclipse of the two most popular celestial bodies on earth is an amazing event to observe. These events have attracted the creative imagination of mankind for long, giving birth to many myths and misconceptions. 

The year's biggest 'supermoon' will be seen today 26th May 2021. This will feature the first total lunar eclipse in more than 2 years. However, it will be seen in India for a short span. it will be seen from northeastern India, coastal parts of Odisha and Andaman and Nicobar Islands and some parts of West Bengal.

According to the India Meteorological Department (IMD), the eclipse will also be visible in the region covering South America, North America, Antarctica, Australia, Asia, the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean.

The next lunar eclipse will be seen from India on November 19 and will be a partial lunar eclipse.

If you are a first-time mom or expecting a baby soon, I'm sure there are many instructions flowing from the elderly for the occasion. Mostly about staying indoors and food etc. Why not try to address each of them scientifically, and know more about this amazing celestial activity? 

So here we try to answer all your questions related to the present lunar eclipse.

Four Eclipse in 2021:

In the year 2021, there will be 4 eclipses out of which 2 are lunar and 2 are solar in India. 

May 26: Total Lunar Eclipse

June 10: Annual Solar Eclipse

November 19: Partial Lunar Eclipse

December 4: Total Solar Eclipse

What Exactly is Lunar Eclipse (Chandra Grahan 2021)?

A lunar eclipse happens when the sun, earth and moon align in such a way that earth's shadow falls on the moon. Since the moon shines by reflecting the sun's light, under eclipse it turns from silver-white color to red. However, for a full red moon, it must be a total eclipse. But not all lunar eclipses are full eclipses, instead, there can be three types of lunar eclipse:

  1. Total lunar eclipse

  2. Partial lunar eclipse

  3. Penumbral lunar eclipse

Why is 26th May Lunar Eclipse Special?

This lunar eclipse is special because it will be a supermoon, a lunar eclipse and a red blood moon - all these at once.

What is a super moon?

When a full or new moon coincides with the Moon's closest approach to the Earth, the super moon occurs.The close proximity of the moon makes it look bigger and brighter.

Lunar eclipse timing

This first total lunar eclipse in more than two years will be seen in India for a short span from Northeastern parts. The partial phase of the eclipse will start at 3:15 pm and the total phase will begin at 4:39 pm. The partial phase will end at 6:23pm and the total phase will end at 4:58pm. 

Where to watch?

The lunar eclipse on the 5th and 6th of June will be visible if you are in Asia, Africa, Europe and Australia. You might get to see the Moon turn darker during the maximum phase of this penumbral lunar eclipse. However, since it is a Penumbral lunar eclipse, it may be difficult to know its difference from a regular full moon.

 

What is a Penumbral Lunar Eclipse?

Evidently, the sun's size compared to the earth causes the earth to form two shadow cones. One darker than the other as shown in the image below.

The darker cone is called 'umbra' and the area of ​​the lighter shadow cone is called the penumbra. The darker shadow cone grows narrow with distance as shown in the image. However, the lighter shadow grows larger. Thus, the moon has a couple of options to hide from the sun:

  1. Hide completely within Umbra: Total Lunar Eclipse - Moon eventually turns completely red
  2. Hide partially in Umbra: Partial Lunar Eclipse - Only part of the moon turns red
  3. Stay in Penumbra Shadow: Penumbral Lunar Eclipse - Looks more like full moon, may appear slightly blueish

A penumbral lunar eclipse occurs when the Sun, Moon and the Earth are aligned in an imperfect way, and when the Moon moves through the outer and faint part of Earth's shadow.

 

Common Myths Associated with Lunar Eclipse

The short answer is, "it doesn't." There is no scientific evidence supporting any theory of harms done by the moon's escapades in earth's shadow (lunar eclipse).

Still, there are many precautionary advises (mostly myths) floating around for expecting moms (and in general) throughout the cultures around the world. Some of the prominent ones include:

  • Avoiding eating food during the eclipse.

  • You should not have sex during the night of the lunar eclipse.

  • Staying away from sharp objects.

  • Staying indoors (defeats all the fun out of watching a wonderful celestial phenomenon).

  • Light proofing the windows to avoid rays from eclipse from entering your home.

  • Watching the Lunar eclipse with naked eyes will affect eyesight.

  • You should take a bath after the eclipse.

 

Lunar Eclipse Vs. Solar Eclipse - Differences

Chances are you have heard a lot about the solar eclipse. Solar eclipses are rarer, happen in the daytime, and require special glasses for the fans and observers to watch. Naturally, solar eclipses create more buzz and are the big daddy of lunar eclipse when it comes to fame.

Few major differences between lunar and solar eclipse are:

 

            Lunar eclipse     Solar eclipse
Causes  Earth's shadow falling on the moon  Moon's shadow falling on earth
When  Occurs on Full moon nights only  Occurs usually around the new moon
Visibility  Visible from everywhere on the night side of the earth  Visible only from a limited area which comes under the moon's shadow
Type of Eclipse  Only one out of three types of eclipses will be visible  The intensity of the moon's shadow on earth may define which type of solar eclipse you see
Watching Completely safe to watch, use a normal telescope for a closer look Watching with naked eyes not recommended, use special glasses to observe
Duration Usually lasts longer. May last up to 4 hours For a very short duration, especially total solar eclipse

 

Eclipses, Types & Visibility Across The Globe 2020

Date Type of Eclipse Visible in / from
5-6 Jun 2020 Penumbral lunar Asia, Australia, Europe, and Africa
21 Jun 2020 Annular solar Parts of Africa including the Central African Republic, Congo, and Ethiopia; south of Pakistan and northern India; and China
4-5 Jul 2020 Penumbral lunar Most of North and South America, and Africa
29-30 Nov 2020 Penumbral lunar North and South America, Australia, and parts of Asia
14 Dec 2020 Total Solar Eclipse Visible from Chile and some parts of Argentina; Partial eclipse visible in some regions in southern South America, south-west Africa, and Antarctica

Image credit: Pixabay.com

This content has been checked & validated by Doctors and Experts of the parentune Expert panel. Our panel consists of Neonatologist, Gynecologist, Peadiatrician, Nutritionist, Child Counselor, Education & Learning Expert, Physiotherapist, Learning disability Expert and Developmental Pead.

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| Jan 09, 2020

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| Jan 09, 2020

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| Jan 10, 2020

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| Jan 12, 2020

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