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Penumbral Lunar Eclipse darkens Full Moon on Nov 28

Mumbai, Nov 28 (): The penumbral eclipse of the moon occurs on November 28, Wednesday. The eclipse starts at 5.45 pm; the maximum eclipse takes place at 8.03 pm and will end by 10.21 pm.

Unlike a total lunar eclipse when the moon passes centrally through the Earth’s dark shadow, or umbra, the moon turns deep red in colour — a penumbral eclipse merely grazes the umbra’s dusky outer fringes and could be clearly viewed from India on Wednesday.

Space.com describes it as during the so-called penumbral lunar eclipse, the November full moon passes into the hazy outer edge, or penumbra of the earth’s shadow, where the sun’s light is only partially blocked. The effect for an observer on Earth is a subtle, but a perceptible shadow that spreads over the moon’s surface.

Although the penumbral eclipse lasts for more than four hours, viewers will only be likely to notice a slight shading on the north side of the moon for up to an hour or so.

The eclipse can be seen in Alaska, Australia, East Asia and Hawaii. USA and Eastern Canada will miss this phenomenon. However, the observers in western USA and Canada can see the mid-eclipse.

The penumbral eclipse would peak in the middle of the night at the longitudes of Australia and Japan, by late evening of 28th November, local date for China and South-east Asia, and early this evening for India with the Moon still low in the east.

According to NASA, the lunar eclipse will not be visible to the naked eye. A grey dark shade will be visible on the moon in India between 7:30 pm and 8:30 pm. A pair of binoculars would certainly help but the shades of grey would be visible to the naked eyes too, closer to 8 pm.