July 7 - Penumbral Lunar Eclipse - NOT VISIBLE FROM INDIA

In furtherance to the discussion on various tv channels. Here is small information about Penumbral Lunar Eclipse on 6th August, 2009. Changes may be noted in following para with updated date of lunar eclipse slated to occur on 6th August,09. It is important to note society has approached the responsible NASA authorities regarding the issue leading to misinformation for this celestial phenomena. There has been response from two officials however society awaits further action to avoid any future incidents of misinformation.

On 6th August, 2009 the third (penumbral) lunar eclipse of the year would occur. Academically speaking this eclipse can be said to be visible from India whereas its also visible rom Americas, Europe, Africa and West Asia this eclipse begins at 23h.04 m 21sec UTC on 5th Augm09 (4.34 a.m. IST on 6th August, 09) and ends at 2h 14 m 08sec UTC (7.44 a.m. IST on 6th August, 09). Nearly 40% of moon disk is immersed in Earth’s Lighter Shadow called Penumbra. However people will not see significant change on moon's disk unlike partial or total lunar eclipise. This is reason penumbral lunar eclipses though insignificant are reported for on academic interest.

The first of three eclipses within this month or so is happening on July 7, 2009. The next penumbral lunar eclipse will occur on August 6, 2009. While, the Total Solar Eclipse 2009 will occur on July 22.

What is a lunar eclipse?
A Lunar Eclipse occurs when earth in course of its orbit around sun, comes between moon and sun such a way that moon his hidden in the shadow cast by earth. This can occur only when the Sun, Earth, and Moon are aligned in a straight line,. Hence lunar eclipse occurs only when there is full moon.

So, what is a penumbral lunar eclipse?
The Earth's shadow is divided into two parts - the penumbra (outer lighter part) and the umbra (the central darker part). In the case of a penumbral lunar eclipse, the Moon passes through the penumbra of the shadow of the Earth. This means that the Moon would not be hidden at all and there will only be a slight change in the colour of the Moon.

Image: During the eclipse, the Moon grazes the Earth's southern penumbral shadow.Image Credit: Wikipedia.

When is the penumbral lunar eclipse happening?
This eclipse begins at 8:37:51 UTC (2:07:51 p.m. IST) and Ends at 10.39.20 a. m UTC (4:09:20 pm IST) on July 7, 2009. At maximum covering, 15% of the Moon would be covered by Earth's penumbra.

Can we see the July 7 penumbral lunar eclipse from India?
No. This eclipse is only visible from Australia, the Pacific and the Americas.

When can we observe such an eclipse from India?
The next such eclipse is happening on August 6, 2009 and will be visible from India. We will keep you informed and remind you about it!

So, is this like a total lunar eclipse?
No. A total lunar eclipse is what the public refer to as a lunar eclipse. In a total lunar eclipse, the Moon passes through the Earth's penumbra, gets completely hidden as it passes through the umbra and passes out of the Earth's shadow through Earth's penumbra to complete visibility.

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