The photo shows a partial lunar eclipse. File photo/AFP
This summer residents of the UAE are going to have an amazing astronomical treat, the last lunar eclipse of 2019. This partial lunar eclipse is going to happen on 16-17 July 2019.
The total duration of the eclipse is 5 hours, 34 minutes, starting from 22:43 of 16th July to 04:17 of 17th July. The moon will be strikingly shadowed in this deep partial eclipse lasting 2 hours and 58 minutes, with 65% of the Moon in darkness at maximum.
A lunar eclipse is a significant celestial phenomenon which occurs when the full moon passes through the shadow of the earth. The shadow, or the umbra, blocks the light of the sun which supposedly reflects on the moon. The location of the moon relative to its orbital nodes affects the type and length of the lunar eclipse.
A partial lunar eclipse occurs when the earth moves between the sun and moon but the three celestial bodies do not form a straight line in space. When that happens, a part of the moon’s surface is covered by the darkest, central part of the earth’s shadow, called the umbra.
A lunar eclipse can only happen at full moon, because that’s the only time the moon can be directly opposite of the sun in the earth’s sky. This time around, however, the alignment of the sun, earth and full moon is somewhat askew, so it’s a partial lunar eclipse instead of a total lunar eclipse on July 16, 2019.
When the moon is in the earth’s shadow, it actually doesn’t turn dark: it turns red. This is due to the way light bends around the earth as it moves toward the moon. This is why a lunar eclipse is often called a blood moon.
On the night of July 16-17, 2019, much of the world can watch a partial eclipse of the full moon. This will be the last time that the moon sweeps through the earth’s dark umbral shadow until the total lunar eclipse on May 26, 2021. Much of Europe, Much of Asia, Australia, Africa, South/East North America, South America, Pacific, Atlantic, Indian Ocean, Antarctica will be able to observe it.
Hasan Al Hariri, CEO Dubai Astronomy Group, advises the public to observe this amazing celestial event with precautions. He says this is an opportunity for us to understand the space science and movement of objects surrounding the earth.
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