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Total lunar eclipse on Jan 31 to be visible from India

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KOLKATA (PTI): The first lunar eclipse of 2018, a total eclipse, on January 31 will be visible from India, a senior scientist said Tuesday.

A lunar eclipse occurs when the sun, earth and moon are so aligned that for a certain period of time, the full moon passes through the shadow of earth in space, called earth’s umbra, Director (Research & Academics) M P Birla Planetarium Debiprasad Duari told PTI in Kolkata.

"During a total lunar Eclipse the moon gets shadowed by the Earth, but the red part of sunlight passing through the Earth’s atmosphere gets scattered by the atmosphere and falls on the moon surface, thereby making the Moon take a reddish copper hue," he explained.

In India, the January 31 lunar eclipse will start from 5.18 pm, the total eclipse will start at 6.21 pm and it will last till 7.37 pm, he said.

The northeastern and eastern parts of the country will experience the eclipse just after the moon rises and in Kolkata, the moon will rise at around 5.17 pm, a minute before the start of the eclipse, he said.

The lunar eclipse will last for 1 hour and 16 minutes in India, Duari said.

The celestial event will also be visible from large parts of the US, northeastern Europe, Russia, Asia and Australia, he said.

The next total lunar eclipse that will be visible from India will take place on July 27, 2018, Duari said.

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