Photo Credit: Pixabay/ D_Van_Rensburg
Blood Moon 2021 is appearing in the skies today (May 26). This will be the first — and the last — Blood Moon of 2021, and it will be visible to sky watchers in various parts of the world. However, in India, it is expected to appear as a penumbral lunar eclipse for five minutes. Commonly known as total lunar eclipse or purna chandra grahan in Hindi, a Blood Moon appears when the Moon moves into the Earth's shadow and reflects a reddish colour light in the sky. Read on for the details on the lunar eclipse taking place today, including whether the lunar eclipse will be visible from India, and what date and time it will take place.
According to notes by NASA, the Blood Moon 2021 or the total lunar eclipse of this year will last for three hours and seven minutes in total — including the partial eclipse and total eclipse — though the total lunar eclipse will be visible for about 15 minutes. It will begin at 08:47am UTC (2:17pm IST). However, the full eclipse will appear at 11:11am UTC (4:41pm IST) and will be maximum at 11:18pm UTC (4:48pm IST) and will continue to be at its total state until 11:25am UTC (4:55pm IST). The complete lunar event will be over at 01:49pm UTC (7:19pm IST).
The total lunar eclipse aka Blood Moon 2021 will be visible in regions of South/ East Asia, Australia, Much of North America, South America, Pacific, Atlantic, Indian Ocean, and Antarctica, Norwegian website Time and Date reports. Some of the cities where the total eclipse is expected to be visible include Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles, Manila, Melbourne, San Francisco, Seoul, Shanghai, and Tokyo. It will also be partially visible in cities such as Bangkok, Chicago, Dhaka, Montreal, New York, Toronto, and Yangon. However, it is expected to be only visible as a penumbral lunar eclipse in India - more on that later.
After today's Blood Moon, the next total lunar eclipse is scheduled for May 16, 2022. There will also be a partial lunar eclipse on November 19.
A Blood Moon appears when the Moon's surface turns reddish since the Earth completely blocks direct sunlight from reaching the Moon and only light reflected from the lunar surface is refracted by Earth's atmosphere. It can be watched by naked eyes — without requiring any special gear. That said, the experience would be better if you could watch the eclipse through a telescope.
Unlike a total lunar eclipse where Earth's central part and shadow (umbra) covers all the Moon's surface, a penumbral lunar eclipse happens when Earth blocks some of the Sun's light from reaching the Moon's surface, covering it only with the outer part of the shadow (penumbra). The effect of reddish hue is minimal in case of penumbral lunar eclipse compared to total lunar eclipses.