This post has been contributed by my dad, S. Muthukrishna Iyer,(a retired ISRO engineer) who himself is an expert cook and handles all the...
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Saturday, June 18, 2011
How many of us would have witnessed the total lunar eclipse that passed off recently? (On June 15-16, 2011). This LUNAR ECLIPSE was one of the longest. Next one, as long as this, may occur in the year 2141. Now, you would be wondering why I have this sudden interest in these heavenly phenomenons. I've always been interested in these eclipses, whether solar or lunar and also other astronomical happenings.
These eclipses are more of direct witnessing of the movements of moon(solar) or earth(lunar). Total Solar eclipse happens during the day when the shadow of the moon falls on one portion of earth thus obstructing the rays from the sun. (Moon coming between sun and the earth). Total lunar eclipse takes place when our earth comes between sun and the full moon, thus casting the shadow of earth on the moon. The eclipses can be either partial or total, depending on the amount of shadow that each place on earth receives. The sudden darkening during the day due to the occurrence of Total Solar Eclipse has always been awe-inspiring to me, though I am yet to experience it.
Now, you will tell me total lunar eclise is just like new moon. We watch new moon once every 29 days, but during Total Lunar Eclipse we watch the full moon turning to New Moon in just one hour!!!!
Folks, if u are lucky enough to be at the place of these eclipses, come out and watch and have a wondrous experience because they happen only very few times during your life. Do not believe in all the age-old superstitions which tell you to be inside as they are believed to cause some sort of harm. Those superstitions were formed out of ignorance. I still find lots of educated people around, refusing to let go these superstitions. I watched the Total Lunar Eclipse about 11 years back (when I was in Isle of Mann, in freezing cold). This time, being in Bangalore, I was not lucky enough as there were clouds blocking the moon.
Witnessing a Total Solar Eclipse still remains a dream for me!!!!