Udupi | Poornaprajna Amateur Astronomers’ Club captures images of partial lunar eclipse

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A view of the partial lunar eclipse as seen at 1:39 am on October 29, 2023

A view of the partial lunar eclipse as seen at 1:39 am on October 29, 2023
| Photo Credit: BALACHANDAR L

Many astronomy enthusiasts, including students of Poornaprajna Amateur Astronomers’ Club, Udupi watched the partial lunar eclipse early on Sunday, October 29, by staying awake throughout the night on Saturday.

According to Souda Atul Bhat, coordinator of the club at Poornaprajna College in Udupi, the eclipse began at 11:31 p.m. on October 28. The shadow of the earth became visible on the moon from 1 a.m. on October 29 and became more and more prominent until 1:44 a.m. on Sunday.

“The club captured the images of the eclipse. It was a unique opportunity as this was the first and last visible eclipse for India for 2023. The fact that there will be no eclipse visible in India in 2024, made this eclipse a rarer phenomenon. Astronomy enthusiasts would have to wait until September 2025 to witness another eclipse in India,” he said in a release on Sunday.

The lunar eclipse was a consequence of the alignment of the sun, earth and the moon in a perfect straight line, which led to the Annular Eclipse on October 14, 2023, and was visible from Americas. Like all other lunar eclipses, which fall either a fortnight before or after a solar eclipse, this partial lunar eclipse occurred after annular eclipse this month.

Since the celestial bodies are in constant motion, the perfect alignment was slightly disrupted and therefore, the entire moon did not pass through behind the earth and only a part of the moon fell under earth’s shadow, leading to a partial lunar eclipse, he said.

Shantika Upadhya of III B.Com waited for the peak eclipse, amid clouds, and captured an image as the clouds cleared for a small window around peak eclipse. Bhargava Bhat of I B.Sc. also stayed up to capture the entire eclipse, but they were unable to proceed after 2 a.m. as the sky was covered with clouds, the release said.

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