Jul 13, 2019

What happens in the last eclipse on the 16th

The Director of the Astronomy and Space Science Unit at University of Colombo, Prof. Chandana Jayaratne, said Sri Lankans will get the chance to witness a partial lunar eclipse on July 16, the full moon Poya Day.

The partial lunar eclipse will be visible to Sri Lanka as well as to several other countries including Australia, Africa, South America, most of Europe and Asia.

A partial lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth comes in between the Sun and the Moon but they do not form a straight line. When this occurs, a small part of the Moon’s surface is covered by the darkest part of the Earth’s shadow that is called Umbra.

According to calculations, the eclipse begins just after the midnight of July 16th, i.e. at 12.13 a.m. on 17th morning with the moon entering into the penumbra of the Earth’s shadow (less dark shadow) and ends up at 5.47 a.m. on 17th . The visible part of the partial eclipse begins at 1.31 a.m. on 17th with the moon enters into the Umbra - the dark part of the Earth’s shadow and end up when the moon leaves the Umbra at 4.29 a.m.

The height of the eclipse is at 3.00 am and about 65% of the moon surface will be covered by the dark shadow of the Earth, said Prof. Chandana Jayaratne.

A rare celestial phenomenon is taking place these days with Jupiter and Saturn shining bright close to the Moon creating a spectacle of celestial grandeur. These are the best days to watch the planet Jupiter which was at its closest and brightest for the year on June 10 and planet Saturn on July 9, 2019 (called "opposition" because they are opposite the Earth from the Sun, effectively a "full Jupiter" and a "full Saturn").

On the eclipse day you can see Saturn very close to the moon and Jupiter next to it, he said.

On the day of the eclipse Saturn can be seen closest to the moon and Jupiter can been seen bright a little further.

This is the final eclipse for the year, while the next eclipse will happen on May 26, 2021.