“Total lunar Eclipse and Super Moon” – 2 Celestial Events Coincided

What is the News?

The two celestial events – Total Lunar Eclipse and Supermoon coincided on may 26.

What is a supermoon?
  • The Moon travels around our planet in an elliptical orbit or an elongated circle.
  • Each month, the Moon passes through perigee (the point closest to Earth) and apogee (the point farthest from Earth).
  • When the Moon is at or near its closest point to Earth at the same time as it is full, it is called a “supermoon.”
  • During this event, because the full moon is a little closer to us than usual, it appears especially large and bright in the sky.

Note:  According to NASA, astrologer Richard Nolle in 1979 coined the term supermoon. In a typical year, there may be two to four full supermoons and two to four new supermoons in a row.

What is Lunar Eclipse?
  • The lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth comes between the Sun and the Moon thereby obstructing the sunlight falling on the Moon. Lunar eclipses only happen at Full Moon.

Types of Lunar Eclipse: There are three kinds of lunar eclipses:

  • Total Lunar Eclipse: During this, the Earth comes in between the Sun and the Moon. It stops the light of the Sun from reaching the Moon and casting a complete shadow over it.
  • Partial Lunar Eclipse: During this, the moon will travel through the Earth’s outer penumbra before and after partially sweeping through the Earth’s inner dark umbral shadow.
  • Penumbral Lunar Eclipse: During this, the Moon moves through the outer part of the Earth’s shadow, thus becoming very faint.
Note: The composition of Earth’s shadow is of two cone-shaped components.
  • Penumbra or outer shadow is a zone where the Earth blocks part of the Sun’s rays from reaching the Moon.
  • Umbra or inner shadow is a zone where the Earth blocks all direct sunlight from reaching the Moon.
What has happened on May 26, 2021?
  • On this day, two celestial events took place at the same time. One is the supermoon and the other is a total lunar eclipse. Because of the total lunar eclipse, the moon will also appear to be red.
  • The moon will appear red because the Earth will block some of the light from the Sun from reaching the moon. Now as the Earth’s atmosphere filters the light, it will soften “the edge of our planet’s shadow” “giving the Moon a deep, rosy glow.

Source: Indian Express


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