THE LUNAR ECLIPSE
The Lunar eclipse is astronomical incident that occurs on the night of a full moon day only and when the Moon passes directly behind the Earth and through its shadow During Lunar eclipse the sun, the earth and the moon are exactly aligned.
Lunar eclipse does not occur on every full moon day because of the earth’s orbit around the sun and the moon’s orbit around the earth are not on same plane. The Lunar eclipse is viewed from anywhere on the night side of the earth. Approximated time of start and end lunar eclipse is about 2 hours. Duration of eclipse is also affected by relative distance between the earth and the moon.
Folklore about Lunar Eclipse:
Different cultures have their own myths according to their belief.
According to ancient Mesopotamians, during lunar eclipse, the moon was attacked by seven demons.
The Chinese people would believe that dragon bite the moon during lunar eclipse.
According to the Incans, when Jaguar eats the moon, the lunar eclipse occurs and due to that moon looks red.
In India, Hindus take bath in the river after eclipse.
How does Lunar Eclipse occur :
As we know Lunar eclipse is done when earth is between the sun and the moon are in single line. During Lunar eclipse, the earth blocks the sunlight going to moon which create shadow of earth on the moon surface. As shown in fig. there are two types of shadows are create. One is completely dark which is called “UMBRA” and other is slight dim shadow called “PENUMBRA”. When moon passes through these shadows, Lunar eclipse occurs.
Types of Lunar Eclipse:
There are three types of lunar eclipse.
A) Total Lunar Eclipse:
During total lunar eclipse, the earth blocks direct sun light to reach on moon’s surface. Total lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes through umbral shadow. During total eclipse the moon is not disappear but dim glow is shown. Some portion of sunlight reflected or bent and refocused on moon due to earth’s atmospheric effect so we see dim glow of moon.
B) Partial Lunar Eclipse:
During Partial lunar eclipse, only some part of moon is covered by umbral shadow. The earth’s shadow cuts only small part of moon which depends upon how the sun, the earth and the moon are aligned and from which area people see it.
C) Penumbral Lunar Eclipse:
Penumbral lunar eclipse occurs when moon passes through penumbra shadow. During this type of eclipse penumbra shadow covers the whole moon so it is called total penumbral lunar eclipse.
The red –blood moon:
The moon becomes red when total lunar eclipse is done. The moon is covered by full shadow of the earth. The sunlight passes through earth’s atmosphere is bent and reflected toward the moon due to earth’s atmospheric effect which create the reddish colour of moon. The reddish colour of moon depend on the dust and clouds presence in the earth’s atmosphere.