The first lunar eclipse of the year 2021 will be visible to many parts of the world tomorrow (Vesak Full Moon day) as a total lunar eclipse from 2:17 p.m. to 7:19 p.m. on Sri Lanka Standard time, and it will be visible to Sri Lanka as a penumbral lunar eclipse, said Prof. Chandana Jayaratne, the Director of Astronomy and Space Science Unit, Department of Physics, Colombo University.
During the lunar eclipse the shadow of the Earth falls on the Moon.
“This is the first total lunar eclipse after 2019 and is famously known as the Super Flower Blood Moon. The eclipse is visible as a total eclipse to regions like Australia, parts of the western US, western South America, and in South-East Asia.
“The true maximum point of this eclipse cannot be seen in Sri Lanka because the Moon is below the horizon at that time.
The Moon will rise from the eastern horizon at 6:23 p.m. on May 26 and from that time onwards till the end of the eclipse due at 7:20 p.m. Sri Lankans can see the Moon, when it is in the less dark shadow of the Earth (penumbra) as a penumbral lunar eclipse with a little dimming of the Moon’s brightens.
“Since the Moon is near the horizon at this time, it is better to select a high point or find an unobstructed area with free sight to East-southeast for the best view of the eclipse,” said Prof. Jayaratne.
“A solar eclipse always occurs about two weeks before or after a lunar eclipse. Accordingly, there will be a ring of fire annular solar eclipse due on June 10 when the Moon comes between the Sun and Earth, but this eclipse will not be visible to Sri Lanka” he added.