KATHMANDU, MAY 26
Of the first of four eclipses of the year 2021, a Total Lunar Eclipse is happening today, which, in our region will only be visible as a Penumbral Lunar Eclipse.
According to timeanddate.com, the Total Lunar Eclipse will be visible in major parts of Australia, parts of western US, western South America, and in South-East Asia.
It is set to begin at 02:32 pm and end at 07:34 pm (local time).
Other parts of South/East Asia, Australia, much of North America, South America, Pacific, Atlantic, Indian Ocean, and Antarctica will be witnessing at least some parts of the eclipse.
As for our region is concerned, the Penumbral Lunar Eclipse will begin when it is close to an end at 06:53 pm (local time) and will be visible for 41 mins until it ends.
In Kathmandu, the maximum eclipse, or the peak, will be visible at 07:04 pm.
However, the specialty of today's astronomical event is not just the eclipse. The moon tonight is nearly at the perigee, closest point to Earth on its orbit, which makes it look bigger than usual. It is, thus, called the Supermoon.
This Supermoon has been named Super Flower Blood Moon and it will turn a shade of red for about 14 minutes when the total eclipse is at totality, between the hours 04:56 pm and 05:10 pm.
Alas, the Super Flower Blood moon won't be visible in this part of the globe as the moonrise will only occur at 06:53 pm here.
Moreover, today's eclipse also sets the beginning of an "almost tetrad". A lunar tetrad is a series of four consecutive total lunar eclipses with no partial or penumbral lunar eclipses in between.
This tetrad, however, has three total eclipses and one deep partial eclipse that is to come within a period of two years.