Muscat – Atheer
A super blue blood moon is set to grace the Sultanate’s skies this afternoon, which means that we will witness a full moon, a total lunar eclipse, a blue moon and a supermoon. Although these events are not particularly unusual, what is rare is the fact that they are all occurring on the same day.
The lunar eclipse is an astronomical phenomenon that occurs when the earth’s shadow obscures the reflected sunlight from the moon, occurring when the earth, the sun and the moon are aligned. The total eclipse occurs when the entire moon crosses the earth’s shadow. In this case, the entire moon disappears.
A partial eclipse occurs when part of the moon crosses the Earth’s shadow, in which case a portion of the moon disappears. A lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes directly behind the Earth into its shadow, in which case the light reflected off the moon becomes dim.
Mazen Ali Al Jalandani, a member of the Astronomical Society of Oman, explained “the penumbral eclipse begins at 2:51 pm, the partial eclipse begins at 3:48 pm, while the greatest eclipse will begin at 5:29 pm, ending at 6:07 pm. The partial eclipse will end at 7:11 pm and the end of the penumbral eclipse will take place at 8:08 pm local time.”
Al Jalandani added that the total eclipse would be visible from the Pacific Ocean, Alaska, Western Canada, Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, the Philippines, China, Japan and Eastern Siberia. Meanwhile North and East America, Eastern Europe and Central Asia will see some phases of the lunar eclipse.
Al Jalandani concluded by saying “perhaps the most striking characteristic of this event is the fact that we can see it without the need for astronomical equipment such as telescope. The eclipse appears clearly in the sky, visible to the naked eye and does not lead to sight problems, unlike the eclipse of the sun which requires special glasses in order to protect the eye.”